Gwynn Park High School entered Saturday afternoon’s game against Forestville Military Academy without starting running back Marc Bronson.
Bronson was injured the week prior against Largo and was held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons.
No matter. The rest of the Yellow Jackets’ potent backfield filled in for Bronson.
Gwynn Park’s backs rushed for 399 yards in a 48-0 victory against the Knights on Saturday.
Eddie Gross (124 yards) and Joe Hayman (106) were awarded the bulk of the carries and both surpassed the 100-yard mark, while fourth- and fifth-stringers Omar Branch and Atien Butts both sprinted outside for long scores on their only touches of the game.
“I just felt that when we came out, we came out with fire. After that first run, I knew I had to keep running like that. It was pretty good,” Gross said.
Added fullback Trevon Heard: “Blocking for those guys is a blessing. Then it opens up the runs for the fullback and the passes for the receivers.”
Even quarterback Jay Adams joined the ground barrage, rushing for 53 yards on six attempts. He also completed seven passes for 106 yards.
“Some guys stepped up [in Bronson’s place],” Gwynn Park coach Danny Hayes said. “We’ve got other guys who can run the football, also. We’re pretty loaded anywhere we go with it.”
On Gwynn Park’s first three drives, the offense was clinical.
Drive 1: Ten plays, 75 yards. Touchdown.
Drive 2: Six plays, 71 yards. Touchdown.
Drive 3: Ten plays, 75 yards. Touchdown.
In fact, on each of their first 23 plays from scrimmage the Yellow Jackets gained at least three yards or more and didn’t have an incompletion. After losing to Friendly in Week 2, Gwynn Park has reeled off seven consecutive victories and confidence is brimming.
“I felt real good. When our starting running back Marc we down, I knew I had to take over,” said Hayman, who ran for two touchdowns.
Forestville, meanwhile, suffered its worst loss of the season and will need a victory next week against Fairmont Heights to keep its playoff hopes alive. At the half, coach Charles Harley Jr. replaced relatively ineffective starting quarterback Quinton Boston with Jourdan Ginyard. Ginyard posed more of a rushing threat, but his only pass attempt was intercepted by Steven Turner.
If not for a 52-yard rush by Marcel Joly in the second half, Forestville would have finished with 28 yards of total offense.
“They started out hitting us in the mouth and knocking us over,” Harley Jr. said. “When you’ve got 22 guys playing and three are freshman, things like that happen.”
Even though Halloween is Wednesday and Homecoming follows next weekend, Gwynn Park’s players won’t be participating.
“We don’t participate in none of that stuff. Spirit week, we just wear our uniforms,” Adams said. “We just try to stay focused on the task at hand.”
Gwynn Park 48, Forestville Military Academy 0
Gwynn Park (8-1) 13 6 8 21 — 48
Forestville Military Academy (5-4) 0 0 0 0 — 0
GP — Trevon Heard 4 run (Aisosa Ekhator kick), 7:02
GP — Jay Adams 3 run (run failed), 1:24
GP — Steven Reyes 0 fumble recovery (pass failed), 7:40
GP — Joe Hayman 12 run (Marcus Porter run), 5:14
GP — Joe Hayman 2 run (Johnathan Wilkes kick), 8:59
GP — Atien Butts 27 run (Xavier Ducksworth kick), 8:41
GP — Omar Branch 62 run (Aisosa Ekhator kick), 2:21
Gwynn Park — Eddie Gross 14-124, Joe Hayman 19-108, Omar Branch 1-62, Jay Adams 6-53, Atien Butts 1-27, Trevon Heard 4-25, Steven Reyes 1-0
Forestville Military Academy — Marcel Joly 9-67, Jourdan Ginyard 4-16, Reginald Smith Jr. 6-5, Quinton Boston 6-(-27)
Gwynn Park — Jay Adams 7-13-106-0, Quinton Harris 0-1-0-0
Forestville Military Academy — Quinton Boston 4-7-19-0, Jourdan Ginyard 0-1-0-1
Gwynn Park — Marcus Porter 2-54, Eddie Gross 1-19, Steven Turner 1-18, Xavier Ducksworth 1-14, Trevon Heard 1-3, Joe Hayman 1-(-2)
Forestville Military Academy — Jourdan Ginyard 3-19, Marcel Joly 1-0