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Gates upsets Pasquotank

GATESVILLE – As the song says, “the Red Barons kept rolling up the score”.

The Gates County High Red Barons did the rolling as they won their first game of the season, 41-36, over visiting Pasquotank.  77 points were scored between the two teams in a contest not decided until the final minutes of the game.

With 1:15 left on the game clock and Pasquotank driving Panther quarterback Kyle Odom completed a pass to Devonte Cummings at the Gates County 20-yardline.

But as Cummings was sprinting toward paydirt he was tripped up by a Red Barons defender and fumbled.  With the ball bouncing loose on the field, Gates County’s Lavell Garrett scooped up the errant pigskin and returned it into Pasquotank territory where the Red Barons simply ran out the clock.

“I don’t know how anybody could’ve watched that game and not been excited,”

said an equally excited and smiling Gates County coach Matt Biggy after the game as he led his team off the field.  “What a finish!”

Prior to Pasquotank’s final possession, Gates County quarterback Graham Hobbs had led his team 68 yards to a lead the Barons would not surrender as DaShawn Stokley ran the final five yards for the go-ahead score.  Stokley’s two point conversion gave the Barons a five-point cushion with under three and a half minutes left to play before the fantastic finish allowed Gates County to prevail at the end.

“You saw a pretty good dose of our playbook tonight,” said the smiling Biggy.  “But I’ve got a lot of really smart kids and that really helps us out alot.

Each team scored on their first three possessions in the first quarter and a half of football.  Gates County’s fans had hardly settled into their seats good for the start of the game before Pasquotank scored first and with the two-point conversion took an 8-0 lead.

Back came Gates County on their first touch as they marched 66 yards as Hobbs completed a scoring strike of 34 yards to Jeremy Smith, but the Barons opted to kick the extra point and trailed 8-7.

It was 15-7 when Hobbs hit D.J. Costen on a fly pattern from 29 yards out and he simply outran the defenders into the end zone where on extra-point kick later Gates trailed 15-14.

Again Pasquotank ran thru the Red Barons’ defense and after leading 22-14 saw Gates County strike right back at them with another Hobbs-to-Costen bomb, this one from 47 yards out on a sideline route that had the Barons within one again after the kick, 22-21.

Gates County took their first lead of the game eight minutes into the second quarter.  After a Pasquotank punt and a return to their own 45-yard line, Hobbs hit Dylan Lilley for a 31-yard gain and one play later it was Hobbs and Costen teaming up for a third  time and a 27-22 lead, though the extra point kick was blocked.   Gates County took that lead into the locker-room at halftime.

It didn’t take Pasquotank long after the halftime break to score again.

Jaquan Respass put a move on the Gates defense in the backfield and then outran them 35 yards as the Panthers retook the lead.

But Biggy switched from an air attack to a ground game in the third quarter as Stokley and Emmanuel Knight split time at tailback.  Stokley getting his second score and Gates County’s first of the half, putting the Red Barons back in front, 33-29, though the extra point attempt failed.

Pasquotank got their final score of the night on a Cummings reverse on the first possession of the fourth quarter.  Then the fireworks of the final five minutes began.

“This win’s huge,” said Biggy.  “We really haven’t been able to play with them the last three years, but this is a good step toward a good long season, hopefully.”