The chilly weather across the state Friday night did not halt the Harlan Cyclone air attack from thrashing the Glenwood defense, as the Rams (3-3, 0-2) lost their second straight game by a score of 42-12. Led by senior quarterback Preston Mulligan, Harlan (5-1, 2-0) nabbed its second district win of the season.
Mulligan completed 23 passes for a whopping 420 yards and four touchdowns on the evening, finding a plethora of different receivers both inside and outside the numbers.
Glenwood Head Coach Cory Faust praised Harlan’s dynamic air attack, which gave the Ram secondary headaches throughout the game.
“I think the hard thing about Harlan is all four of their receivers are really good,” Faust said. “When they have one or two weapons you can kind of put your best guys on them, but when there’s four guys that are good you have to live and die with those match ups, and it’s tough.”
Those four guys Faust referred to were senior receivers Brett Sears, Jonathan Monson and Eli Boldan, as well as tight end Jon Owens, all of whom had multiple receptions on the night.
Sears was Harlan’s biggest playmaker, as he hauled in three touchdown catches and added a 38-yard punt return for a touchdown to complete a stellar game.
Mulligan’s both deep and short-throw accuracy was at times undefendable, as he was able to complete tough passes down the field on several occasions.
“[Harlan] has always been so good at developing accurate passing quarterbacks, and we saw one tonight,” said Faust.
For the Rams offensively, it was another rough night. Glenwood struggled to sustain any type of rhythm against a solid Harlan defense, as they totaled just 82 yards on 46 carries on the ground as a team. The silver lining for the Rams was the occasional success in the passing game. Glenwood junior quarterback Zach Carr completed 6 of 16 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown, including an 83-yard bomb to junior receiver John Palmer late in the first quarter.
The first half saw the Rams ride a strong defensive performance to hang in the game. Turnovers forced by senior linebackers Brett Mower and Eli Bales kept the Rams within striking distance, holding the Cyclones to just a single score in the second quarter.
Glenwood went into halftime down by only nine, but the Cyclones scored two touchdowns in the first five minutes of the third quarter to take a 35-12 lead. Despite Harlan’s commanding lead for nearly the entire second half, the Rams fought to the final whistle; something that caught their coach’s eye.
“I saw some of our guys who have been ‘all in’ competing down to the final play, and I’m proud of them for that,” Faust said. “I’m disappointed in myself for some of the stuff we’re seeing out there, but I’m glad we have a chance to try and get better next week.”
The Rams will host ADM (4-2, 0-2) in the upcoming week for yet another tough district test. Both teams will be hungry having lost two in a row, as the Tigers fell to Creston in a 16-13 heartbreaker Friday.
“[ADM] is a well-coached team, and they’ll be ready to play,” Faust said. “We just have to get better… obviously there’s gonna be some game planning involved, but we just have to fix some basic things on our end before next week.”
Glenwood will conduct its senior night ceremonies next week in their final home game of the year against the Tigers.