By Dave Gordon
For Coahulla Creek High School, stopping Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe running back Jacob Gilbert from having a big game on homecoming night for the Warriors was job No. 1.
The senior running back, however, thwarted that notion for the visiting Colts in the second half.
Gilbert rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns, while receiver/ defensive back Coe Crawford picked off two passes and caught another for a touchdown, leading the Warriors to a 28-18 Region 5-3A win at Tommy Cash Stadium.
Coach Todd Windham was impressed with his back’s best effort of the season.
“This was his best night this year,” Windham said. “We hadn’t seen that burst he normally has this year, but he picked a great night to find that other gear for us.”
It was a tight contest for the first 24 minutes, as both teams swapped scores in the first two quarters.
The Colts (2-5, 1-3) took the opening kickoff and ran 13 plays and ran 4:23 off the clock, ending with a Pedro Garcia 22-yard field goal at the 7:37 mark to make it 3-0.
The Warriors (3-4, 2-2) countered with a five-play, 70-yard drive. Senior quarterback Sky Rogers went 3 of 3 passing during the drive, finishing it off with a 21-yard strike to Triston Evans at the 6:04 mark to take the lead, 7-3.
After an interception by Crawford, the home team drove from the Colts 46 to the 3, only to have Coahulla Creek’s defensive line stuff the run twice from the 1.
Getting the ball back on downs, the Colts began their longest scoring drive of the season, taking the ball the length of the field on a 99- yard, 12-play drive which ended with a 15-yard roll-out pass from quarterback Blaine Williams to fullback Labron Kendrick to give the Colts a 10-7 lead with 5:20 left before the half.
But the Warriors answered, driving 82 yards off a heavy dose of Gilbert. The back had big gains of 18 and 31 yards during the drive, ending with a 2-yard plunge.
Early in the third, the Warriors tacked on another score with Rogers converting on a 31-yard pass to Crawford for a 21-10 lead. Gilbert tacked on another score on a 3-yard run to go up 28-10 early in the fourth.
The Colts cut the lead to 10 after a touchdown pass from Williams to Michael Ward and a two-point conversion with 8:30 left in the fourth but got no closer.
As frustrating as the loss was for Colts coach Jared Hamlin and his squad, he chose to look at the positives.
“We had a great goal-line stand there in the first half, and we were able to make that long drive off that,” Hamlin said. “We moved the ball well and got into position to score. We just have to learn the lessons. When the opportunities arise, we have to take advantage.”