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Trojans spoil GCHS homecoming

GATESVILLE – It wasn’t the Homecoming the Red Barons hoped for.

Friday night, Gates County High School suffered a heart-breaking 16-12 loss to Southeast Halifax High School when the Red Barons surrendered two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Neither team mustered much offense in the contest as the Red Barons had 196 yards of total offense while holding Southeast to 131 total yards.

Both teams had early opportunities to score with the Trojans recovering a Gates County fumble at midfield and the Red Barons intercepting a pass which they returned to the Southeast 13-yardline. Neither was able to get in the endzone, however.

The Red Barons got back-to-back penalties after the Trojan turnover, moving to the 23-yardline. The next play netted a one-yard loss and the following one was an incomplete pass leaving the Red Barons facing third-and-21 from the 24-yardline.

Damaion Gatling picked up seven yards on the next play and the Trojans committed a five-yard penalty, but Gates County was still left with a fourth-and-nine from the 12-yardline. Gatling again got the carry and picked up five on the play, but it wasn’t enough as the Trojans took over on downs.

After forcing a Southeast Halifax punt, the Red Barons took over possession on the Trojan 48-yardline. GCHS proceeded to put together a 10-play drive to get into the endzone.

Trebor Buck had a six-yard gain and quarterback Graham Hobbs carried for a nine-yard pick up. Dashawn Stokley then had back-to-back carries for seven yards that moved the football down to the Trojan 33-yardline.

Another key play on the drive came when Gatling picked up 15 yards to move the football down to the 13-yardline. After a two-yard gain by Gatling, Hobbs connected with Jeremy Smith on an 11-yard scoring strike at the 6:01 mark of the second quarter.

The kick failed, but the Red Barons led 6-0.

It didn’t take long before Gates County found paydirt again. This time, Taylor Munday recovered a Southeast Halifax fumble in the endzone. The two-point conversion run failed and Gates led 12-0.

The Red Barons got another chance moments later when Akeem Lassiter recovered a Southeast fumble at the Trojan 21-yardline.

Gatling moved the ball six yards on first down, but then the next two plays lost yardage and left the Red Barons attempting a 30-yard field goal that missed.

Southeast drove to near midfield before the intermission, but the Red Barons stopped the threat when Gage Cline picked off a pass.

The Red Barons took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 63 yards to the Trojan 21-yardline, but fumbled the football away.

Gates County’s defense forced a Southeast punt, but the offense again lost a fumble at midfield.

Southeast Halifax began their miracle comeback with 5:34 to play in the fourth quarter when Marque Jacobs picked off a Red Baron pass and returned it 60 yards for a score. Catrell Lynch added the two-point conversion as the Trojans closed to within 12-8.

On their next offensive series, Gates County was held to a three-and-out and punted the football away with 3:22 to play in the contest.

Southeast Halifax then set sail on a 51-yard, eight-play drive that proved to be the game-winner.

The key play in the contest came when Keonte Stallings connected with Deandre Miller on a 39-yard pass play to move the football to the Gates County 10-yardline. Jacobs had an eight-yard carry and then found paydirt from two-yards out with 20 seconds to play.

Jacobs added the conversion run and Southeast took a 16-12 lead.

The Red Barons had one pass play before time expired, but were stopped leaving Southeast Halifax with their second win of the season. Gates County, meanwhile, dropped to 4-5 this season. The Red Barons will travel to North Edgecombe Friday night in another key Tar-Roanoke Conference battle.