Jeff HarrisonSpecial to The EnterpriseThe 50-year gridiron series between Barnesville and John Glenn has been closely contested on numerous occasions over the years, so it was only fitting that the golden anniversary matchup would be more of the same.This time, it was the host Shamrocks who came out on the top end of a 21-14 count against the Muskies in the 2009 season opener for both teams.Fittingly, the game came down to the fourth quarter with the score deadlocked at 14-all.John Glenn had the first chance to take the lead, moving to the Barnesville 27-yard line before stalling and attempting a 44-yard field goal, but senior Ethan Bennington's boot had the distance but missed just wide left.That gave the ball to the Shamrocks with 6:15 remaining and 80 yards to travel.Faced with a third-and-12 at the 31, Barnesville senior quarterback Dalton Smith found junior Tyler Kurtz at midfield and Kurtz did the rest, turning away from a defender and covering 69 yards to paydirt.Kurtz then added the point-after kick, giving the hosts what would be the winning 21-14 spread with 4:25 remaining.John Glenn moved from its 29 to the Barnesville 28 on the strength of a 28-yard pass from junior QB Jake Heagen to senior Kyle Jackson followed on the next play by a pass interference penalty, but two runs and two passes gained just three yards.The Muskies got one final snap from their 35 with nine seconds to go, but senior A.J. Ritterbeck turned out the lights with an interception and return all the way to the JG five.Coming off a disappointing 1-9 season, Barnesville coach Luke Johnson was understandably pleased with his team's opening win."The whole attitude of the kids and how they've worked and come together as a team has been great to see," said Johnson. "Tonight proved that this team can be very competitive."We've got a lot of sophomores in there," the BHS coach added, "but they didn't play like young guys and I'm very proud of them."Barnesville scored the game's first points on its second possession, moving 49 yards in seven plays and scoring on a five-yard sweep by senior Gage Hanlon, with Kurtz adding the PAT for a 7-0 Shamrock lead at the 4:31 mark of the first quarter.John Glenn got even just before halftime by putting together a 10-play, 54-yard scoring march capped by a five-yard burst up the middle by senior fullback Craig Luburgh. Bennington's placement knotted the score at 7-7 with 27 seconds left in the first half.The Muskies took the lead in the third period thanks to a 54-yard interception return for a TD by senior Austin Ross, with Bennington's kick giving the visitors a 14-7 edge with 7:17 on the clock.Barnesville responded with a nice 12-play, 66-yard series that featured a 19-yard pass from Smith to senior Tre Greiner and culminated in a three-yard TD toss from Smith to sophomore Zack Dornon. Kurtz' PAT tied things at 14-all with 55 seconds left in round three to set the stage for the Shamrocks' game-winning fourth quarter drive.John Glenn managed just 183 total yards and both coaches credited the Barnesville "D" with a solid performance."Our defense stepped it up," said Barnesville's Johnson. "When you're playing against a Wing-T team coached as well as they are, there's a lot of things to focus on and our kids did what we coached them to do tonight. To beat them is a big deal for us.""We didn't make enough plays on offense tonight," said veteran John Glenn coach John Kelley. "We didn't establish anything. Give Barnesville all the credit, though. They were ready to play and they took things away from us."Barnesville finished with 252 total yards, including 140 passing and 112 rushing. Smith completed 8-of-14 aerials with one intercepted, including three catches for 28 yards by sophomore Jesse Stoudt. Ritterbeck rushed 23 times for 68 yards.The Barnesville-John Glenn series dates back to 1960 and now has the Muskies with a 27-22-1 advantage.NEXT-- Barnesville travels to Byesville to face Meadowbrook on Friday, Sept. 4. Kick-off is 7:30 p.m.