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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Tripped up in Gosnell

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GOIN' THE OTHER WAY: Ben Markway picks off a Gosnell pass and runs it back 60 yards in Highland's 42-20 loss to the Pirates Oct. 14 in 3-4A Conference play.
Gosnell kicker Baudel Arreola has a testy style of kicking off.

He sets up on the hash mark furthest from his team's sideline, kicks the ball high into the air towards his sideline.

The opposition's up-man usually has to call for the fair catch and, most importantly, catch the ball. Arreola did this last year, as well.

Highland's kick return team failed this test twice in two minutes, leading to two Pirate touchdowns in three minutes, on their way to a 42-20 victory over the Rebels at Gosnell on Oct. 14.

Gosnell's average play count on its six scoring drives was under six plays, which was helped greatly by starting field position.

"We just weren't very disciplined tonight on offense, defense and, for sure, not on special teams," said Rebel Head Coach Spencer Hill.

Gosnell recovered the first fumbled kickoff at the Highland 31, which led to a 4-yard touchdown by Farontae Royster with 1:11 gone in the first. Arreola was good on all of his point-after attempts.

The Pirates recovered the second fumbled kickoff at the Rebel 42, which was turned into points by quarterback Gavin Sullivan on a 7-yard run at 9:07.

Highland's Wolf Mays called for the fair catch on the third kickoff. Quarterback Sterling Stowers completed a 4-yard pass to Ethan Hoppe and a 19-yarder to Garrett Sublett to get into Pirate territory. Running back Jordan Brewer had carries of four and three yards before fumbling the ball to Gosnell.

The Pirates were unable convert the turnover into points as the Reb defense forced a punt.

Brewer and Stowers each picked up first downs on their next drive, but two incomplete passes and a sack forced a Rebel punt. A bad snap to punter Kamran Seat gave the Pirates the ball at the Highland 38. Four plays later, Sullivan hit Royster for a 25-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead early in the second.

"We just played sloppy on offense; dropping passes," explained Hill. "When teams are going to line up like they did, we've got to hurt them in the passing game."

The Rebels' first score came by way of a Pirate turnover. Jarrett Powell ripped the ball from Gosnell running back Arreola and Sublett recovered it at the Pirate 37.

Stowers rushed for 11 yards on two plays, but gave nine of it back on a bad center exchange. After a Pirate penalty, Hoppe dove for a Stowers 28-yard pass, landing at the 2-yard line. Brewer took it in on the next play. Hoppe added the PAT to make the score 21-7.

Gosnell answered with a two-play drive that saw Royster break out for a 55-yard TD.

Highland answered that with a five-play, 61-yard drive which concluded with a Stowers 1-yard touchdown run.

Brewer got the bulk of the yards on a 41-yard scamper down the Pirate sideline.

Defensive back Ben Markway picked off a Pirate pass and returned it about 60 yards to the Gosnell 20.

With very little time left in the half, Brewer found two yards on first down, but Stowers, looking for Hoppe over the middle, was intercepted by linebacker Ethan Ballard.

In recent years, Gosnell has added the spread to its offensive repertoire but, when the Pirates need comfort or want to burn the clock, they revert to their standard double-wing. Highland has played a few teams this season that utilize the double-wing, but no one runs, it likes Gosnell.

"You've got to have some bigger, wider lineman and that's what they've got. They got a bunch of toads up there on the line," said Hill. "That offense is so hard to defend. You've got to be so disciplined every single play."

The Pirates used the double-wing to open the second half and mounted a 12-play, 64-yard, six-minute drive for a Royster 2-yard TD, and an almost insurmountable 34-14 advantage.

Royster pushed the score to 42-14 with six minutes left in the game with a six-yard touchdown.

The Rebels followed it with the final scoring drive. Stowers hit Brennan Severn for a 7-yard gain. Brewer found a hole through the middle for 13 and Stowers added six. The Reb QB found Brewer for the outlet pass and he ripped off 27 yards for the score. Seat's conversion pass was intercepted.

Brewer led the team with 92 yards on 13 carries. Stowers rushed 17 times for 60 yards, and was 10-of-19 for 136 yards passing. Hoppe caught four passes for 52 yards, and Sublett had 43 yards on three receptions.

Highland (5-1, 2-1) will host Osceola on Oct. 21.

"It'll be a different game. Different test. We're going to have to be disciplined," said Hill. "That'll be our word for the week."

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