Mount Tabor Glenn Football

Coach Antwon Stevenson and the Glenn Bobcats play their home opener tonight against Parkland. It will be the football team’s first game in the rebuilt Marty Stanley Stadium.

There was an expectation of two straight wins to start the season. 

But the ball just didn't roll that way for Coach Antwon Stevenson and the Glenn football team.

The Bobcats (1-1) began the 2019 season with a 24-0 victory against Ledford on Aug. 23 in Wallburg. The shutout was a solid start, as the team approached another road game. 

Glenn faced Mount Tabor at Bob Sapp Field last week, and the Bobcats lost for the first time this season. A touchdown in the second quarter off a 13-yard interception return by Mount Tabor's Javouse Chambers was all that was needed in what turned into a 6-0 win for the Spartans. 

It was a game riddled with mistakes by the Bobcats, Stevenson said. Tyshon Holland and Zach Cowart, two offensive lineman with no previous varsity experience, also sustained minor ankle and knee injuries, respectively, in the first quarter. Desmond Morgan, a senior tackle who committed to Charlotte in July, was winded after playing both offense and defense, according to Stevenson. 

"You get a big play, and then you have a penalty," Stevenson said. "We're inside of (Mount) Tabor's 30, going in three times and coming away with zero points. Having opportunities like that versus a good team like Mount Tabor, you have to take advantage of them and we didn't.

"... But I told the guys after the game, 'That loss is on me,' because when you have that many mistakes — from an offensive standpoint — it's one of those things where kids start thinking instead of playing." 

But for the Bobcats, that loss is in the past, according to Stevenson. The team is preparing for Friday night's home opener, which will be broadcast live on WMYV My-48. Glenn will play host to Parkland at the newly-rebuilt Marty Stanley Stadium adjacent to the high school in Kernersville. 

And a fresh facility generates excitement in itself. According to Colon Moore, the director of construction planning for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the project cost roughly $3.4 million. Renovations included construction of a new metal grandstand that holds up to 3,000 spectators along with concession stands and bathrooms — tack that onto already-present away bleachers that seat another 1,500 fans. 

"To be the first (football) team to play in the new stadium, (it brings) a little added motivation," Stevenson said. "Most people are used to the seating on the home side and now we have the aluminum home side, so it's a different look — a different appeal.

"And they still have us a little tunnel to come from back behind the stadium, so that is still good. The kids were wondering like, 'Coach, we're not going to be able to run from underneath the stadium anymore.'" 

And, like the Bobcats' stadium, the offense has somewhat of a different look this season as well. 

According to Stevenson, the line is mostly made of new faces. Caleb Markland, a senior, is the only player with varsity experience. The Bobcats are also starting Jemel Craig-Blakely, a junior, and sophomore Brett Walker. Holland and Cowart are expected to make a return as well against the Mustangs (2-0), Stevenson said. 

Sophomore quarterback Camden Coleman started the game against Ledford, throwing for more than 130 yards. Will Craig-Blakely has been a backup, and he saw playing time early against Mount Tabor. Stevenson said, at this point in the season, adjustments to the offense are week-to-week.

The defense has been consistent, though, holding the Bobcats' two opponents to just six points. Glenn's defense has three Division I prospects with Morgan and Raneiria Dillworth, a junior linebacker who garnered an offer from Liberty in May. Jahvaree Ritzie, a 4-star prospect per 247Sports, has received more than 10 since January. 

"Our defense has progressed a lot and we've been dominant in these two games," said Ritzie, whose offers mostly come from programs in the SEC and ACC. "The main thing is the brotherhood of the defense. 

"I mean, it's strong. We all know what we've got to do — we don't get mad." 

Parkland, however, has outscored its opponents by a combined 77-39. In the Mustangs' victory last week over High Point Central, quarterback Camian Shell completed 13 of 16 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns. 

For Parkland, Glenn is the start of a stretch of three straight games against Central Piedmont 4-A opponents. The Mustangs also face Reagan and East Forsyth before starting Piedmont Triad 3-A play against Southwest Guilford on Oct. 10. 

"We feel good going into this rivalry game on Friday," Marshall said. "They know a lot of the kids. They went to middle school together, or go to church with them or played youth sports with them. 

"So all the Forsyth County games are rivalry games. This is kind of like a battle of the south side, so to speak." 

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pferlise@wsjournal.com

@PatrickFerlise

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