Late touchdown lifts Indian River past Glasgow 21-20 in Kickoff Classic

BEAR — Thursday night’s eighth annual DFRC Kickoff Classic between Glasgow and Indian River ended in thrilling fashion, with underdog IR capping a 21-20 comeback victory thanks to Jalen Snead’s third touchdown toss of the night.

Snead, the sophomore starting quarterback, hit Kevin Custis in the back of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown to pull the Indians to within a point with 57 ticks remaining on the clock.
Moments later, he hit Custis in the back of the end zone once more to give IR the go-ahead two-point conversion.

“I didn’t really think we were going to go for the win,” Custis said of the two-point try. “But my quarterback, he made it happen.”

The opening-night victory puts IR just one win away from matching last year’s 2-8 campaign.

“This was a game that allows my young players to understand how good they could possibly be,” head coach Phil Townsend said of the win. “I still have a lot of young guys who doubt their abilities. My guys stepped up tonight and we got the win.”

Despite trailing much of the second half, Snead led the team on a game-winning drive that began on their own seven-yard line.

The drive lasted 3:37, and featured clutch conversions of 3rd & 4, 3rd & 13 and 4th & goal.

“We had to take what they were giving us,” Townsend said. “They weren’t giving us as many runs – tosses and sweeps – so we had to keep it inside and open up the air game. Jalen had a phenomenal game, so did Custis. This was a family effort, a group effort.”

“This boosts my confidence a bunch,” Snead, the second-year starter, said of the winning drive. “I knew we had a better team (than last year). People were doubting us. Let them doubt us, we’ll be the underdogs and get the win.

“The coaches trust me, and I trust them,” he added. “The coaching staff knows how to call the plays, we’re just all clicking together right now.”

Indian River had a quick start to the game, scoring on the third play from scrimmage with a 52-yard pass from Snead to Custis.

Glasgow answered with a touchdown on its first possession as well, taking the 8-6 lead in the opening quarter.

Another quick strike from Indian River’s passing offense – Snead to Jacob Anderson – from 60 yards out on the first play of the second drive put IR back ahead 13-8.

Glasgow didn’t re-take the lead until the final play of the first half.

Glasgow quarterback Reggie Grinnell ran the ball in from nine yards out. With a failed two-point conversion, Glasgow went into the half leading 14-13.

In the second half, Glasgow extended its lead to seven points with a seven-yard touchdown run from Tavion Jones late in the third quarter.

Defensively, Indian River forced three Glasgow turnovers. Custis picked off a first-half Grinnell pass attempt and sophomore JaQuan Floyd recovered a pair of Glasgow fumbles.

“We want to create turnovers and limit turnovers,” Townsend said. “If we can do that, we’ll win the game. We have to win the turnover ratio.”

Coach Townsend and his young IR squad hopes to use this momentum as they prepare to play host to Polytech next Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.

“This is a confidence-booster,” he said. “I’m hoping to pick up the intensity this week in practice and pick up where we left off.”

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