No. 2 Gateway too much for Hempfield in Quad-A
Hempfield's first two plays in Friday's Quad East game against Gateway at Spartan Stadium were completions of 11 and 8 yards by junior quarterback Ty George.
The Spartans found it difficult to move the ball after that.
At the same time, the Gators were doing everything right.
They parlayed four offensive touchdowns and two interceptions for scores into a 41-0 halftime lead and went on for a 41-13 victory in the matchup of top-10 teams in Quad-A.
Gateway, ranked No. 2 in the Trib Total Media rankings, improved to 5-0 overall and in conference play. No. 10 Hempfield dropped to 3-2 overall and in the conference.
“Gateway's a good football team. We knew that coming in,” Hempfield coach Rich Bowen said.
“We felt if we were 100 percent healthy, we could compete with them. We came in with a few starters out and lost a few more (Friday). I think (Gators coach) Terry Smith does a great job. They are well-coached. It was probably the best half they played all year. They will be a big factor at the end of the year.”
Hempfield played its first game without its two leading rushers — injured juniors Joey DeFloria and Skyler Carkuff — and the Spartans were held to no yards on 13 carries in the first half. On the second play of the game, starting senior receiver Cameron Updyke suffered an ankle injury and missed the rest of the game.
Gators senior quarterback Thomas Woodson completed 6 of 11 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He hooked up with juniors Montae Nicholson and Delvon Randall on a pair of 19-yard touchdowns.
Woodson has 979 passing yards and 10 touchdowns in five games.
Senior tailback Andre Martin scored on a 12-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
He almost scored on a short run in the first quarter, but he fumbled just shy of the goal line. However, Nicholson was there to pounce on the ball in the end zone.
Martin finished with 103 yards on 10 carries, and he has 12 rushing touchdowns this season.
The Gateway defense capped the second-quarter scoring, as Nicholson and junior cornerback Anthony Davis returned interceptions 42 and 68 yards for touchdowns.
“It was a critical game in the conference, and we knew we needed to establish ourselves early,” Smith said. “We didn't want to be in a dogfight. We put together all aspects of the game in that first half.”
The 41-point margin at halftime put the mercy rule into effect for the second half.
Hempfield scored twice in the fourth quarter. Senior Tyler Handlan caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from junior DeLorian Day. A bad snap on a Gateway punt attempt sailed into the end zone, and senior Shawn Miller dived on the ball for the score.
George finished 5 of 13 passing for 48 yards and the two interceptions. Day was 4 for 5 for 43 yards.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.