The Wildcats lost the Class 3A, Region 6 contest 35-7 against the team ranked No. 8 in the state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association — as did the Bearcats in Week 3.
And just like when the Bearcats traveled to Etowah County, Saks lost key players.
Saks junior quarterback Cordarius Cooper went down in the first quarter never to return. Backup Chase Johnson went out early in the fourth quarter, leaving Saks to rely on freshman Tre Smith to finish the game.
“Anytime you lose your starting quarterback, it’s going to affect you,” Saks coach Clint Smith said. “But Chase came in and did great job of running the offense, and we got some good production out of Tre when Chase had to go out.
“Now, we’ll just have to regroup.”
Cooper threw just two passes, both incompletions.
Johnson finished 2-for-6 for 29 yards and an interception.
Smith said the extent of the injuries to both Cooper, who had an ice pack wrapped around his torso, and Johnson was unknown after the game.
Glencoe (5-1, 5-1) scored on its first two drives and built a comfortable 21-0 lead before the Wildcats ever got on the board.
Quarterback Rhett Norman hooked up with Kimbrell on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 6:53 to play in the first quarter to end a 13-play, 61-yard drive.
Seth Noogin took a handoff in from five yards out with 1:08 left in the first to put the Yellow Jackets ahead 14-0 after a Houston Ramer extra point.
Just when things looked as if they couldn’t get any worse for the Wildcats, they did.
After Saks’ three-and-out possession to begin the second quarter, Glencoe’s Chris Tinker fielded a punt off the bounce, found a hole and took it 75 yards to the house to give the Yellow Jackets a 21-0 edge at the 10:55 mark of the second quarter.
“That was big,” Smith said. “Our special teams had played pretty well up to that point. Then they go up 21-0.”
Tinker’s touchdown was the kind of special teams play that escaped Glencoe in its 13-12, overtime loss to third-ranked Piedmont last week. In that game, Ramer missed both of his extra point attempts after going 17 of 18 through the first four games of the season.
Friday, Ramer was 5-for-5. He also carried the ball 17 times in a backfield that went without leading rusher Austin Brown, who was sidelined with an injury.
“Special teams was huge for us tonight,” Glencoe coach Lee Ozmint said. “Obviously, Tinker’s run was huge. He’s a threat to do that every night, but we made all our extra points, and we flipped the field and won the field position battle.”
The Wildcats (4-2, 4-2) showed life late in the second half.
Justin Grier picked off Norman at the Saks 43-yard line and returned it to the Glencoe 37. The Wildcats offense carried them from there with a seven-play scoring drive.
Wide receiver Lavontae Thomas made a one-handed catch for a first down, and Mark Wilson’s diving catch made it first-and-goal. Brandon’s Johnson’s 3-yard run with 21.1 seconds to go in the second left the Wildcats trailing 21-7 at the half.
A 47-yard run by Kimbrell and a 42-yard gainer by Noogin set up the Yellow Jackets’ final two scores, which came on Ethan Melisano’s 2-yard run with 7:47 and Josh Jordan’s 11-yard run with less than a minute to play.
Kimbrell had a game-high 78 yards on eight carries.
“They did a good job offensively,” Smith said. “They’re a physical team and their defense played exceptionally well.”
Saks will play hosts to Weaver, while Glencoe will take on Ashville next week.
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.