‘Barons crush Rocky Mt. Prep
GATESVILLE – Good football teams take full advantage of what their opponents surrender.
If that’s the case, then Gates County High School is indeed a good football team.
Feasting on a bushel basket full of Rocky Mount Prep miscues, the Red Barons scored on eight of its 10 offensive possessions – five of those TD’s set-up by turnovers – as the Red Barons crushed their non-conference visitors, 51-2, here Friday night.
With the win, Gates County improves to 4-3 overall as they prepare to re-enter the Tar-Roanoke Conference wars with an Oct. 5 trip to league co-leader Southeast Halifax.
The Red Barons rebounded nicely from last week’s setback at Northampton by scoring three times on their first nine snaps vs. Rocky Mount Prep. The first of that quick burst of scores came after Gates County defender River Hicks recovered a fumble when the visitors botched a punt attempt at their own 14 yardline. Two plays later, Brandall Riddick scored the first of his four touchdowns on the night, this one a one-yard blast to paydirt at the 9:33 mark of the first period.
GCHS defender Latwand Williams recovered a Rocky Mt. fumble on the Jaguars next possession, setting his offensive ‘mates up at the visitor’s 46 yardline. It took Riddick only one play to score from there as the junior running back raced around the right side of the line en route to the endzone.
Thanks to a wicked hit by Devonte Melton on the ensuing kick-off, the ball popped free and GCHS recovered at the Rocky Mt. 35 yardline. Six plays later, Andrew Wiggins hit Tyvonn Ricks with a pass in the flat and the junior receiver did the rest by completing an 11-yard TD catch-and-run for a 20-0 lead with the game a shade over six and one-half minutes old.
The Red Barons scored only once in the second quarter, but that came after a Rocky Mount turnover as well. This time it was a blocked punt that set GCHS up at their guest’s 13 yardline. Riddick scored four plays later on a 10-yard run.
Riddick also scored the first TD of the second half, this time running over defenders en route to a 59-yard scamper to the endzone. That pushed the GCHS lead to 33-2 and with 174 rushing yards to his credit at that point, Riddick spent the remainder of the game on the bench.
With coach Matt Biggy freely using his reserves, the Red Barons were still able to score three more times – a six-yard TD run by Isaiah Eure (1:34; 3rd quarter), a one-yard blast by Hicks (8:31; 4th quarter) and a 19-yard scamper by Mark Ricks with 2:35 left in the game.
With Riddick leading the way, GCHS accounted for 307 yards of total offense, 287 of which came on the ground. Adding to that rushing attack were Ricks (7 carries, 69 yards), Eure (10-53) and Hicks (5-21).
Gates County’s defense “pitched” a shutout as Rocky Mount’s lone points came on a second quarter safety when a Red Barons offensive player fell on a fumble in his own endzone. The visiting Jaguars managed only 64 total yards and fell to 0-4.