Gateway holds off Latrobe
Gateway found itself in unfamiliar territory at halftime of Friday's night Quad East season opener at Latrobe.
The Gators were losing.
But Trib Total Media's second-ranked Gators (1-0, 1-0) took advantage of four second-half Latrobe turnovers and escaped with a 22-20 victory at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium.
Latrobe (0-1, 0-1) led 13-7 at halftime thanks to two Logan Carns touchdown runs (7 and 72) and three Gateway turnovers.
But the Wildcats saw their upset bid evaporate when Gateway forced two fumbles in the opening minutes of the second half.
Delvon Randall scored on a 5-yard run with 8 minutes, 57 seconds left in the third quarter to tie the score 13-13. Then on the ensuing kickoff, Montae Nicholson scooped up a fumble and rambled 16 yards for a score to make it 19-13 with 8:50 left.
“It was a little closer than we wanted,” said new Gateway coach Donnie Militzer, who replaced Terry Smith. “Latrobe played well, and Carns was a handful, but we were undisciplined, and we have to clean things up in a hurry.
“We had a lot of the players cramp up, and it messed up some of our packages. In the second half, we ran the ball more to run clock, and the offensive line did a nice job.”
Gateway was penalized 13 times for 112 yards and turned the ball over four times.
Kevin Fitchwell booted a 27-yard field goal to push the Gateway lead to 22-13 with 10:53 left, but Latrobe wouldn't go away. The Wildcats forced the Gateway punter to take a knee on the Gateway 7, and Carns capped the short drive with his third touchdown to make it 22-20 with 3:20 left.
“We made some mistakes, but that's part of learning how to win,” Latrobe coach Ray Reitz said. “We outhit them, and we're a resilient bunch. We'll bounce back from this.”
Gateway defensive back Devin Pinkett sealed the win with an interception with 43.4 seconds left at the Gateway 40.
Carns rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns. He, Craig Stevens and Nicholas Halula intercepted passes.
Latrobe jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter when Gateway quarterback Jimmy Moore was sacked and fumbled. It was recovered by Latrobe linebacker Dylan Kovatch at the Gateway 17. The Wildcats scored three plays later.
Gateway, which had two touchdown passes to Nicholson called back because of penalties, tied the score at 7-7 when Ricky Rogers caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Moore. Moore finished 14 of 27 for 194 yards.
Late in the first half, Gateway was trying to force Latrobe to punt, but Carns spoiled that by racing 72 yards for a touchdown to give Latrobe a 13-7 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Gateway used running back Zaihe Regus at quarterback and started to use the ground game. Regus finished with 91 yards on 16 carries.