Gates County falls just short

Published 8:41 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009

EDENTON – So very close…

Gates County High School came literally within inches of upsetting 2-A rival Edenton here Friday night after a last-second field goal hit the cross bar and fell just short.

The resulting miss left the Aces with a 14-13 win over the Red Barons and dropped Gates County to 2-3, snapping a two-game win streak.

The teams exchanged punts in the first quarter and the Aces began the first productive drive of the night on the second play of the second period.

On the first play of the drive, Daquan Ford broke free for an 11-yard gain. Three plays later, Ford rushed for 10 yards to move the football down to the Gates County 14-yardline.

Ford then connected with Shaquille Holley for a six-yard pickup before Deshon Fleming rumbled nine yards to paydirt for the Aces. Josh Laverty added the Point After Touchdown and Edenton led 7-0 with 9:13 to play in the second quarter.

The Red Barons answered immediately, however, as they drove 69 yards on seven plays to get into the endzone themselves.

After picking up a first down an on Edenton penalty, the Red Barons were at their own 44-yardline. Two plays later they had reached the 46 and from that point Red Baron Quarterback Graham Hobbs connected on a 54-yard scoring strike with Damaion Gatling. Zack Badgett added the extra point and the game was deadlocked at 7-all.

Edenton appeared headed for the go-ahead score on the next drive when the Aces drove from their own 46-yardline down to the Gates County 14. At that point, however, defensive back Mack Leary picked off a pass to stop the drive.

Gates County moved the ball and picked up a first down, but the first half clock expired and the score remained tied.

The Red Barons then took the lead with a 35-yard drive to open the second half.

The short drive was set up by a 50-yard kickoff return by Gatling. Avondre Blount then picked up a key first down and third-and-five to keep the drive alive and set up a 15-yard strike from Hobbs to Jeremy Smith for the score. The extra point failed, but Gates County led 13-7.

Edenton fumbled on its next possession, but the Red Barons were held to a three-and-out and forced to punt the football away.

The Aces took over on their own 37-yardline and put together a 10-play, 63-yard drive to take the lead. The key play came when Ford broke free on a 14-yard scoring play with 11:18 to play in the fourth quarter. The PAT by Laverty was good and the Aces grabbed a 14-13 edge.

After holding Edenton on fourth down, the Red Barons took over at their own 19-yardline with 1:51 to play in the contest.

Hobbs quickly connected twice with Gatling, both times for 14-yard gains. He then found Smith for a three-yard pickup to midfield.

From there, he found Smith again on an 11-yard pass completion and a 15-yard penalty on Edenton moved the ball to the 24-yardline. Hobbs then found Badgett for a 14-yard gainer to the 10-yardline.

That set up the field goal kick which just missed as time expired.

The Red Barons finish non-conference play 2-3 as they head into this week’s Tar-Roanoke Conference opener against Weldon High School. That game at Weldon is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.