**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Gladwin Flying G’s have put together nearly flawless results to start their season. It’s a group who has come into 2022 with their sights on leaving no rock unturned. Literally. Gladwin has outscored their opponents, 172-0, through the first three weeks of the season. They would be in for a different test on Friday night with the Clare Pioneers coming to town. Could the Pioneers be the one to rattle Gladwin? Clare has missed the playoffs just two times since 2000. They have had decades of success, and have had much to say in the Jack Pine Conference title race. Unlike last year where the two would square off twice, the first not being until October, they would get things started early in mid-September this year.
Gladwin would strike first in this one. Earl Esiline would find his way into the end zone on a 66-yard touchdown run. The Anna Seebeck PAT would be good and it was a 7-0, Gladwin.
This one would be a fight early, when Nick Wheeler would punch one in on a 16-yard run. The successful PAT would put this one at 14-0, Gladwin. Esilline would then find daylight again. This time giving the Flying G’s a 21-0 (Seebeck successful PAT), on a 76-yard run. This was Gladwin’s half, as they would cruise in with a 21-0 lead after two.
They would pick up right where they left off in the 2nd half. Wheeler would get the party started again on a 22-yard touchdown run. But not so fast, shortly after the senior quarterback would find himself in the end zone again. This time from 10-yards out. 35-0, Gladwin, after three.
Just when you thought Clare would get back in this one at some point, they couldn’t get anything going offensively. The Flying G’s would add another 3 on a Treyton Siegert 28-yard field goal. This one would come to an end at that margin, with Gladwin cruising 38-0 over Clare. It was a different opponent this week, but it just didn’t matter. Gladwin continues to give no breathing room to opponents. Through four games, Gladwin now sports four shutouts.
As is the program standard, they did much of their damage on the offensive side on the ground. Gladwin was able to rack up 358 rushing yards in this one. The defense was just as good, as they held Clare to just 127 yards of total offense. They were over to create 3 turnovers on the night. Nick Wheeler came up with two of those with interceptions. He also added 3 touchdowns, and 94 yards on the ground on this one. Earl Essiline would not be outdone in this one either. The Senior running back added 221 yards on the ground to go with 2 touchdowns.
Gladwin moves to 4-0 overall, and 3-0 in JPC play. They will look to continue their domination when they welcome in Sanford Meridian next Friday. The Mustangs have some momentum of their own and ride a 3-game winning streak. They now sit at 3-1 overall, and 2-0 in the JPC. Meridian will look to see if they can slow Gladwin down when the two meet next Friday at 7:00. Clare will look to bounce back after this one. This now puts the Pioneers at 2-2 on the year, and 2-1 in conference play. They’ll be tasked with welcoming in the Harrison Hornets who are coming off a tough loss of their own. The Hornets sit at 2-2 overall, and 1-3 in JPC play. Harrison makes the short trip to Clare for a 7:00 kickoff next Friday night.