CANTON: Canton McKinley star Eric Glover-Williams is one of the most elusive high school football players in the nation.
After one series, it appeared as if Glover-Williams would turn the Buchtel Griffins inside out.
The Bulldogs dominated on the scoreboard, winning Friday night’s season opener 35-0, but the Griffins’ defensive unit earned some respect after chasing Glover-Williams around Fawcett Stadium.
“I thought our defense played pretty well,” Buchtel coach Ricky Powers said. “We just have to do something on offense. We have to move the ball. We have to help the defense out a little bit.”
Having recently committed to Ohio State, Glover-Williams, a junior quarterback, is projected as a slot receiver for the Buckeyes. He accounted for three touchdowns, two rushing and one passing.
“[Glover-Williams] is a dynamic player and, man, we’re really glad to have him on our team,” McKinley coach Todd Filtz said. “I think he continues to get better as an athlete, as a leader, and as a student.”
Glover-Williams finished with 155 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, and completed four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.
McKinley’s first possession resembled a video game. Glover-Williams capped an eight-play, 73-yard drive with a 7-yard scoring run. He carried five times on the drive for 57 yards and appeared unstoppable.
“We want that first drive to set the tone for the whole game,” Glover-Williams said. “We just pounded the ball for the first game.”
But the Griffins knuckled down and limited the McKinley speedster to 30 yards on 14 carries for the rest of the half.
What made it extra tough for Buchtel was McKinley’s No. 2 threat, senior tailback Jarrod Smith, also a Division I prospect, who ran for 126 yards in the first half and finished with 131 yards and a touchdown on 25 attempts.
McKinley took a 14-0 lead at 4:40 of the second quarter when senior Darius Smothers intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs deflated the Griffins when Glover-Williams scored on a 7-yard draw play to make it 21-0 with 13 seconds left in the half.
“We have to go back to the drawing board,” Powers said. “You can’t ask [our defense] to stop two great players like that for 48 minutes.”
Buchtel’s offensive had little success against McKinley’s ball-hawking defense. Aided by two McKinley penalties, senior quarterback Chris Davis completed passes to Deric Rucker (14 yards) and Corrick Smith (6 yards), driving to the Bulldogs 15. The drive stalled on downs.
“To get a shutout in Week 1 is a difficult task,” Filtz said. “We’re proud of the way our guys played.”
The Bulldogs added two touchdowns, a 40-yard scoring toss from Glover-Williams to Kortez Nelson and Smith’s 2-yard run.
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