MOORE HAVEN — Sports writer Vic Ketchman once described the rivalry between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers as the most one-sided rivalry in the National Football League. Since around 2009 it seems the Packers have been able to beat the Bears every year. Ketchman wrote that one team losing to another over and over again isn’t a rivalry, it’s a ritual.
We’re getting close to ritual territory when it comes to the Glades Day-Moore Haven rivalry.
The Moore Haven Terriers defeated the Glades Day Gators, 43-7 on Sept. 13, one of the more lopsided victories between the two teams in recent years. This is now the fourth consecutive time in three years that the Terriers have beaten the Gators.
Moore Haven shut down a Glades Day offense that was coming off a high-powered 55-19 win over Berean Christian the week prior.
Terriers head coach Brent Burnside admitted this kind of lopsided win is usually a rare occurrence when these two teams meet.
“We’ve been in some dogfights since I’ve been here,” said Burnside. “Over the past few years it has been coming down to the final minute or two. So it was good for us to jump up on that team early and not have to climb back from a hole. For the last couple of years we’ve been down pretty big at half time and had to come back in those games. But this time we were able to jump on them early and keep the pedal to the metal.”
The trouble started early for the Gators when they fumbled the ball on their opening possession. Moore Haven senior Zion Moore was able to recover the ball on the Glades Day 15-yard line. Moore Haven senior Nate Crawford punched the ball in on a short touchdown run a few plays later and the Terriers were up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
It didn’t take long for the Terriers to score again. Following a Glades Day punt, the Moore Haven offense took over and on the very first snap senior Javon Jones took the ball 60 yards for a touchdown. Crawford converted a two-point conversion and just like that the Gators were looking up at a 15-0 deficit.
The Gators offense struggled to respond. Quick hand-offs up the middle were stuffed by the Terrier defense and whenever Glades Day would try to swing the ball out wide to McPhee there would immediately be a Moore Haven defender there to stop him.
With the run game going nowhere, the Gators attempted to pass the ball to gain some momentum. But when Glades Day senior quarterback Matthew Shannon rolled out to his right and attempted to hit freshman Damian Cunningham on a shallow out route Moore Haven senior Ja’veon Tullock was able to make a diving interception to give the Terriers the ball at the Gator’s 18-yard line.
Moore Haven senior Lorenzo Sampson punched the ball into the endzone a few plays later to make it 22-0. From there the Terriers continued to roll on to a 43-7 victory.
It wasn’t all bad from the Gators, however. Glades Day quarterback Shannon was able to hit junior Dante Marquez on one of the biggest passing plays of the game for the Gators. But on the very next play Shannon was sacked in the backfield by Moore Haven junior Johnny Crawford Jr.
The Gators would finally get on the board in the final three minutes of the game on a quarterback sneak from Shannon for a touchdown.
Despite the dominating performance from the Terriers there were still a few mistakes the team made that could’ve proved costly if the Gators offense found any life. Moore Haven muffed a punt early in the game and also fumbled the ball in the first half. Coach Burnside called out those mistakes as something the team would have to fix.
“It wasn’t a complete game,” explained Burnside. “There’s a lot of stuff that we need to work on. There is a lot of stuff we’re going to get exposed on if we don’t shore it up. But it is definitely a step in the right direction coming in off two big losses. It’s good to get it turned around this week.”
The win is Moore Haven’s first of the new season and brings them to 1-2 on the year.
Now the Terriers will be operating on a short week as they travel to face Okeechobee on Sept. 19. The game against the Brahmans was originally scheduled for Sept. 6 but had to be postponed due to Hurricane Dorian.
“It’s a short week so we’re going to have to jump on that pretty quick,” Burnside said of the Okeechobee game. “We’ve seen a little bit of them on film. I think they’re a little bit different offensively than they have been in the past, so we’ll have to adjust for that.”
Moore Haven and Okeechobee kick-off at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Okeechobee High School.