Glencoe whips Barlow in a play-in game and nearly upsets Aloha in the first round

Heading into the first round of the OSAA Class 6A football playoffs, no one gave Glencoe a chance against Aloha. by: TRIBUNE PHOTO BY CHASE ALLGOOD - Glencoe senior Blaine Morgan stiff arms Barlow's Kennedy Johnson during a state play-in game on Nov. 2.

The Warriors are a Metro League power with one of the finest running backs in the nation in Thomas Tyner. As far as any outsiders were concerned, it was going to be a walk in the park and an easy trip to the second round for Aloha.

The Crimson Tide did not see it like that.

“Everybody wanted to talk about how good they are and how good Tyner is,” Glencoe coach Steve Jones said. “Take nothing away from those guys. They’re a great team and have a phenomenal running back. But, we showed up to play and to play our guts out, which our kids did.”

In the end, Glencoe was not able to pull off the upset, losing 38-35 in a closely fought game.

“We came up a little bit short,” Jones said. “But, I was really proud of our effort. No one gave us a chance, but we believed and our kids believed and we almost took it.”

The Crimson Tide were not quite able to contain Tyner. He rushed for 441 yards on 37 carries and four touchdowns, and also caught one TD. Jones says that the Tide made Tyner work for everything that he got.

“He is their offense,” Jones said. “It’s not that you can keep him from getting yards. It’s just do your very best to keep him out of the end zone. Our goal was to make his runs be six-yards and five-yards and two-yards and one-yard as opposed to the long 64-yard touchdowns.

“That was our goal — to contain him. He scored on us. But, he was sore. Our kids fought hard throughout the game.”

Glencoe’s offense was almost able to keep up with Aloha as well. Crimson Tide running back Ryan Spaulding was not able to outshine Tyner, but he was able to have a stellar night, gaining 143 yards on 23 carries and scoring four touchdowns.

“We ran the ball well with Spaulding,” Jones said. “Then we play-actioned and we threw the ball well. We kept trying to find the weakness in their defensive line and linebackers and we did a pretty good job of mixing things up.”

The season ending hurt Jones as much as it hurt the players. Jones has coached the seniors at Glencoe since they were sophomores when he was the JV coach. Over the last two years, as the Tide’s varsity coach, Jones has watched the players grow and develop into a team that competed against Aloha.

“I’m very, very proud,” Jones said. “I’m sick inside because I didn’t want it to end. These seniors, I’m going to miss them. It’s like losing your kids, losing part of your family. That’s probably the hardest thing, the relationships that we built and the family that we have built amongst our team. That’s the hardest part. I’m very, very proud and very, very sad at the same time.”

Last year, the Tide went 2-8. This year, Jones changed the program from top to bottom. Glencoe finished the season 6-5 and went 3-4 in the Pacific Conference.

“It was a combination of things,” Jones said. “I had to establish the program. We had to have a set of core values and we had to have a philosophy of how the kids played.

“I went out and got some new coaches, which made a huge difference. We fortified our weight room. We made it a real important thing. We put the program where it needs to go to be successful.”

Jones says that Glencoe is situated to make even more strides next season.

“We’re going to have most of our offensive line back,” Jones said. “We have some kids that got some good varsity time at other positions. We have our quarterback coming back, which is huge. We have some up-and-coming sophomores and we had some really good juniors who were playing behind great athletes this year.

“I’m very excited. It all starts with the offensive line and I’m really excited about what we have coming back.”

The foundation has already been laid for next year. The Crimson Tide proved it by almost pulling off a momentous upset against Aloha.

“This is just the beginning,” Jones said. “We’re going to build off of what we did this year for next year.”

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