Shamir Nichols broke his wrist less than a month ago and wasn't sure if he would see the field on Thursday night.
His first thought when he got the call to go in the game in the second half?
"Score - show these people what they've been missing out on," Nichols said. "First game coming back felt amazing. Thank God and thank my linemen, they did work and I did what I had to do. Once these light come on it's go mode, I can't stop. I gotta get somewhere."
The Glenn senior sparked a second-half surge with a pair of touchdowns, helping the Grizzlies open District 13-5A, DII play with a 21-16 win over Elgin Thursday night at Bible Stadium.
Senior running back Julian Morris finished with 73 yards and a touchdown with a team-high 17 carries while Rondrick Stubblefield had 119 yards on 15 carries and Nichols 70 yards and two touchdowns, all of which came in the second half.
Nichols was playing with a cast on his left wrist. Glenn head coach Rob Schoenfeld said he got it just before the McCallum game and they weren't sure how effective he would be in his role with the additional piece equipment.
"When it was time to put him in for the second half, he had a hunger to go out there and perform, and he did," Schoenfeld said. "I'm proud because he's done everything we've asked of him in the four years he's been here."
Glenn's opening drive stalled near midfield, but junior defensive back Dominic Sullivan quickly got the ball back for the Grizzlies, coming down with an interception on Elgin's first play from scrimmage.
But the Wildcats were the first to get on the scoreboard when Daniel Gonzales hit Daveon Isom with a 19-yard pass. Glenn committed a pass interference penalty on 4th down earlier in the drive.
Morris found the end zone and tied the game with a 4-yard power run - his fourth touchdown of the season - with less than two minutes left in the first half.
"Made some adjustments at halftime to center the adjustments they made coming in," Schoenfeld said. "Scoring right before halftime to gain a little momentum was huge. The kids came out after halftime and did a tremendous job of following through with the adjustments."
Alec Townsley came down with the Grizzlies' second interception of the game on the first drive of the second half, and the offense responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by Nichols.
Elgin kicked a 26-yard field goal near the end of the third quarter to cut the lead to four points.
Nichols and the Grizzlies responded with another long touchdown drive, and despite a long touchdown by the Wildcats on their final drive of the game, the Glenn defense took a step forward in its development.
"We felt going into the season that the offense was going to have to carry the load while our defense grew up," Schoenfeld said. "Our defense is getting better every week. We're getting contributions from young guys playing their first varsity season."
The Grizzlies began this season with losses to Liberty Hill and McNeil and a win against McCallum, the same results as last year when they won a share of the district title in their first full varsity season and made it to the third round of the playoffs.
Glenn continues District 13-5A, DII action next Friday night when it travels to The Pfield to take on Weiss before returning to Bible to face off with currently undefeated Cedar Creek on Oct. 11.
"Starting district with a real hard-fought win, we'll take it any way we can get it," Schoenfeld said. "I expect the district to be much improved this year. Being 1-0 however it got done is all that matters right now."