Gilbert Lions devour Panthers
by JOSHUA MURPHY Staff Writer
The Gilbert Lions finished their regular season with a 30-0 win against the Tug Valley Panthers on their home field of Lowell Phipps Stadium, Friday, Nov. 6.
With this win, I think we beat every team in the county, Gilbert Head Coach Gordon Carter said.
Gilbert struck first blood against the Panthers with a 28 yard touchdown run by running back Josh Carter with a little under five minutes in the first quarter, one of two touchdowns by Carter in the game.
Tug Valley would turn the ball over on downs to Gilbert on their next drive only to recover a fumble made by Carter. However, the Panthers were unable to take advantage of the recovery which set up a scoring drive for the Lions at the top of the second quarter.
From there, the second quarter would prove very fruitful for the Lions, scoring three of their four touchdowns in that twelve minute stretch, which included another score by Carter and two touchdowns by wide receiver Cody Houck.
With successful completions of three of their four two point conversions, the score became Gilbert 30, Tug Valley 0 by halftime.
The remaining half of football saw the Lions and Panthers battle back and forth but never reaching the end zone for either team.
The Panthers only scoring attempt came in the third quarter, coming up short on an approximate 30 yard field goal attempt.
The Lions came close to scoring again in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, but a penalty on the play called for the down to be replayed and quarterback Ashton Cline took a knee to run out the clock.
We pretty much shut Gilbert out in the second half, said Tug Valley Head Coach Josh Duty. We moved the ball but just couldnt get it across the goal line. Gilbert tightened up when they needed to.
We were coming off a big win at Matewan, but had a week off in between. I thought wed be a little flat, commented Coach Carter. And at first we were flat, but the kids responded and played good football for the rest of the night.
Gilbert had 507 total yards with Josh Carter as the leading rusher, gaining 200 yards on 12 carries, two touchdowns, and two two-point conversions. The game put Carter over the 1,000 yard mark for the nine game season.
Cameron Ellis had 94 yards on 12 carries and Cody Houck ran the ball for 50 yards on six carries with two touchdowns.
Quarterback Ashton Cline passed for 100 yards completing four of his 11 throws.
I am really proud of Carter. He has really stepped up and ran the ball hard for us. He has had some great games for Gilbert and I hope we can move into a playoff spot so they can have at least one more game, said Coach Carter.
Carter also gave a lot of credit to Duty and the Tug Valley Panthers, in particular quarterback Cody Varney.
Their kids never quit and they had a lot of heart and lot of determination. They didnt play like they were an 0-9 football team. They just had a lot of bad luck this season along with a killer schedule.
Tug Valley had the fourth toughest regular season schedule in West Virginia this year, according to Coach Duty.
You have to admire my kids guts to be willing to face that type of schedule. We want to build on this. This was the schedule and the year where the program was supposed to fold, but these kids put a stop to that, Duty commented after the game.
Duty went on to say he hopes to have a more realistic schedule next year.
The game marked the end of the high school football careers for many of the seniors playing, 13 from Tug Valley and nine from Gilbert.
The win improves the Gilbert Lions record to 6-3, but are still on the fringe as far as playoff hopes go.
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