Gateway picks apart Kiski Area
Gateway's offense has been dazzling this year in scoring 162 points, near the top of the WPIAL.
But Friday night, Gateway's defense sparkled, setting up three touchdowns with interceptions and limiting Kiski Area to 2 rushing yards in the first three quarters en route to a 55-14 victory at Davis Field.
Andre Martin rushed for 153 yards, and quarterback Thomas Woodson added 121 yards on the ground for the Gators (3-0, 3-0), ranked second in the Trib Total Media Class AAAA poll.
No. 9 Kiski Area dropped to 2-1, 2-1 as Gateway took a 16-4 lead in the all-time series.
Anthony Davis picked off two Cavaliers passes, including one tipped by Martin and returned 77 yards for a touchdown. Davis' other interception led to Martin's third rushing touchdown.
A pickoff by Malik Ford early in the second half also led to a Martin scoring run.
“They're pretty stout up front — we didn't get too much push on them tonight,” Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner said. “We would get some positive yards on the ground, then the next down it wound be minus yards. They've got a lot of speed and size on that football field.”
The Gators had taken a 14-0 lead by the end of the opening period before the Cavaliers answered with a 2-yard scoring run by quarterback Ricky Carter to cut the deficit to 14-8.
On the preceding play, Carter hit tight end Shane Kuhn with a screen pass that covered 30 yards to the Gators 2.
After Davis' interception return, Joe Brungo returned the Gators kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to bring Kiski Area within 27-14.
But Woodson cut inside with a 31-yard touchdown run with 21 seconds left in the half to give the Gators a 20-point advantage at intermission.
“They have so many weapons,” Heavner said. “I thought we did a pretty nice job containing most of them. What really hurt us was their quarterback. While we covered their receivers well, we lost containment on Woodson, and he got chunks of yards on us.”
Gateway coach Terry Smith was pleased with the victory but was concerned with the 87 penalty yards against his team in the first half.
“We keep making some mistakes like the penalties,” Smith said. “We have a long way to go.”
After the two Martin touchdowns in the third quarter, both coaches substituted liberally.
“We seemed to get momentum and take control of the game in the second half,” Smith said. “We played a little bit better, then it got out of hand and we started to sub.”
Kiski Area kicker Adam Mitcheson strained a leg in pregame activity and did not play. Carter left the game with a cramp in the fourth period.Both are expected to be back Friday when the Cavaliers play at Hempfield.
George Guido is a freelance writer.