Red Barons rout Lakers

Published 4:58 pm Sunday, September 20, 2015

GATESVILLE – Two weeks ago, Gates County was denied an opportunity to win their first football game of the season when Bertie turned GCHS away near the goal line on the Red Barons’ final snap of the contest.

Friday night, Gates County wound up needing only one play to end a three-game slide to open the 2015 football campaign.

Mark Ricks rumbled 50 yards to the endzone on the game’s first snap and went on to add two more rushing TD’s in the first quarter where Gates County opened up a quick 30-0 lead en route to a 55-0 rout of visiting Mattamuskeet High School in the Coastal 10 Conference opener for both clubs.

With the win, GCHS moves to 1-3 overall, but more importantly 1-0 in conference play. The Red Barons will host Creswell High School next Friday (Sept. 25) on Homecoming night at GCHS. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.

Unlike the Bertie game, which GCHS lost 24-20 after they failed to cash in on a 4th-and-goal play at the Falcons 1 yardline with a shade over two minutes left in the game, the Red Barons made quick work of the Lakers on Friday as Ricks scored the first three times he touched the football.

After his game-opening TD run with the contest less than 30 seconds old, the Red Barons added a two-point safety when the snap sailed over the Mattamuskeet’s punter’s head and out of the endzone on the Lakers first possession.

After Gates County’s Demarquis Bryant returned the ensuing free kick to the Lakers’ 33 yardline, Ricks covered that distance on first down. Coupled with Will Leary’s PAT kick, Gates had extended its lead to 16-0 less than two minutes into the game.

Ricks added another TD run by the midway mark of the opening period, this one from 57 yards out. Leary’s kick made it a 23-0 lead. Ricks would carry the ball only one more time on the night – finishing with a game-high 151 rushing yards on just four carries.

But the ‘Barons had plenty of other offensive weapons, to include reserve running back Talik Eure who rumbled six yards to paydirt near the end of the 1st quarter and a 30-0 lead after Leary split the sticks on his PAT kick.

Braxton Newsome’s interception at the Lakers’ 19 yardline set-up the ‘Barons’ next scoring drive, one capped by Robert Walker’s 8-yard TD run and a 36-zip lead.

Another turnover, this one a backwards lateral recovered by Walker, set-up Gates County’s final score of the first half when Walker ended a short drive with his 29-yard run to the endzone. Leary booted the PAT for a 43-0 halftime lead.

GatesCounty’s reserves played the entire second half. Back-up running back Torrie Wilkins scored twice on runs of 5 and 52 yards to account for the final score. Wilkins finished with 8 carries for 75 yards.

The Red Barons posted 410 yards of total offense; 356 of which came on the ground. Walker and Danyael Crocker each added 57 yards to the ground game.

Defensively, GCHS held the Lakers to only 17 net yards offensively. The visitors passed for 74 yards, but went backwards on the ground (-57 yards on 13 attempts). Derrion Godwin and Demonte Miller each had an interception for the ‘Barons.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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