Gladney's stock could shoot through the roof as the countdown to National Signing Day begins. Last night, he could not be checked against East Ascension in the first round of the 5A playoffs. Haughton, the No. 12 seed, got off to a slow start in front of the home crowd and trailed 21-7 before striking back behind Gladney's four touchdown catches.
"We had been down before in games," explained Gladney when asked about the comeback. "We knew we had a chance to win so our heads were not down."
Indeed, Haughton - boosted by the passing of QB James Almond and the slick receiving skills of Gladney - eventually took control of the game and scored the final 18 points of the contest to prevail, 25-21.
"James keeps getting better and better," said Gladney of the first-year starting signal-caller, who had to replace Dak Prescott (now at Mississippi State). "He's been able to get me the ball more often.
"On the game-winning catch, James put the ball in a perfect place and I just went up and got it. The students went crazy and rushed the field."
Haughton, which reached the 4A quarterfinals in 2010*, advances to take on perennial power West Monroe in the second round. The Rebels, seeded No. 5, are 9-2 on the year.
"We have to cut out the mistakes and play perfect to keep it close," said Gladney. "They do everything right."
Gladney has 15 receiving touchdowns to accompany his two scores on special teams (one punt return, one kick return). For the second straight year, he has eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving barrier.
*Haughton moved up to Class 5A this year following reclassification.