Early mistake can't stop Gateway
Don't look now, but the Gateway football team is starting to find its groove.
Just ask Norwin coach Art Tragesser.
Norwin's defense couldn't stop Gateway Friday night, and the Gators rolled to an easy 48-7 victory, spoiling the Knights' homecoming at Norwin Knight Stadium.
Gateway (3-2, 3-0) scored on every possession except one, and that was only halted when the clock ran out in the first half.
Norwin (2-3, 1-1) actually led 7-0 early in the first quarter when K'Hari Singleton scored on a 5-yard run. The score was set up when the Knights' Erik Rayman recovered the opening kickoff after Gateway's Raheem Cathie failed to cover the ball.
After that, it was all Gateway.
The Gators struck two plays later when sophomore quarterback Thomas Woodson tossed a 63-yard touchdown pass to Wayne Blye. Woodson completed 5 of 8 passes for 142 yards, all in the first half.
Gateway defensive back Daniel Bradley intercepted Norwin quarterback Tim Petro's tipped pass on the Knights' next possession and returned it 27 yards to the Norwin 37.
"After we botched the opening kickoff, we played well," Gateway coach Terry Smith said. "We played well offensively, scored on every possession and didn't have to punt.
"Thomas' touchdown pass gave us back the momentum, and Graham (Davis) gave us a spark in the running game."
Darrin Franklin, Gateway's starting tailback, finished off the next Gateway drive by scoring from the 2 to make it 13-7. Franklin, who rushed for 92 yards on 15 carries, also scored in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run.
Davis came in during the second quarter and started running over Norwin defenders. He scored on runs of 2 and 27 yards in the second quarter to give Gateway a 27-7 lead at halftime.
Davis rushed for 123 yards on 12 carries.
"We just couldn't stop them," Tragesser said. "They just had too many athletes, and we couldn't match up."
Gateway outgained Norwin, 438-163, and rushed for 298 yards.
The Gateway defense held Norwin to 98 yards rushing, and Petro completed 9 of 16 passes for 68 yards. Petro was also sacked four times. Singleton had 62 yards rushing for Norwin.
Woodson added the only score of the third quarter for Gateway, and Franklin and Patrick Livsey scored in the fourth quarter to complete the rout.
"We're so young, we're still trying to find ourselves," Smith said. "If someone isn't producing, someone else can step in and pick us up. That's Gateway football. There are always players competing for jobs."