Written by Jon Machota
Garland defense clamps down in 24-7 win over Richardson Berkner
Owls runners pound out 201 yards on ground
GARLAND — It’s never a good sign when the player responsible for generating half your scoring is held to 76 yards of total offense. That was the case for Richardson Berkner on Friday at Williams Stadium.
Yedidiah Louis was corralled most of the night as Garland clawed its way to a 24-7 victory in the Class 5A Division I playoff opener.
It marked the third time in the last four years that Garland (9-2) has defeated Berkner (7-4) in the first round of the playoffs.
Behind a steady outing from quarterback Seth Russell and a pair of running backs, the Garland offense was an effective compliment to a stingy defense that never allowed a running team to find space on the ground.
While the defense was busy preventing Berkner from crossing midfield in the final three quarters, Kelyan Spencer, Malcolm Miller and Russell were leading a 201-yard team rushing effort.
Despite the lopsided final score, the contest wasn’t actually decided until the final eight minutes.
During that time, Garland, which has won its last nine games, held its opponent to minus-11 yards of offense.
Berkner defensive back Michael Norwood made the first big play of the night, intercepting Russell midway through the first quarter.
Louis then scored four plays later.
However, that would be the last time the visiting offense got a chance to celebrate.
Garland’s Drashane Glass extinguished any hopes of a Berkner fourth-quarter comeback, intercepting a Louis pass and returning it 46 yards for the game’s final score.
Garland advances to face Mesquite at 6 p.m. Friday at Cowboys Stadium.