Spring Garden dominates Gaylesville to open Region play
Week 2 is now in the books and it’s fair to say this time around, the county fared a bit better this week as opposed to the 0-5 record our local teams dished out in Week 1. Still only 2-3, sure, but progress is progress and give credit where credit is due, those losses were to some tough teams that should only tougher these young men for the rest of the season. But let’s get that out of the way and turn our focus to the Game of the Week we got to cover here on WEIS which saw an opening to Class 1A, Region 6 play as the 0-1 Spring Garden Panthers took a trip to Gaylesville High School to take on the 0-1 Trojans.
The game took little time to give us a good feel for an opening region matchup, both teams exchanging their showing of strength in the first quarter where it was Gaylesville’s power I set taking on the speedy youngsters of Spring Garden. However, it did not take long for the typical top contending Panthers to figure out the full gameplan for Gaylesville, and it wasn’t much more than a blink of the eye before SG put together the full set on offense and defense and stormed to a 49-12 victory of Friday night over the Trojans.
Now as I did say though, the game started off with a much different showing than what we would see for the rest of the night. Gaylesville immediately showed us a willingness to play despite their low numbers on the bench, and it seemed early on the grinding power of that power I offense the boys in purple could give Spring Garden some issue as a hard fought opening drive culminated in a 1 yard TD run for junior QB Colby Scott, an extra point failure keeping it at 6-0 at 7:29 left in the 1st quarter. But Spring Garden wasted little time from there, kicking off their offensive showing with a bang off the kickoff as they showed off an array of rushing ability up the middle and along the sidelines to put together a simple 2 minute drive that ended when freshman fullback Luke Welsh ran in an 11-yard score along the left sideline, the failed 2-point conversion after keeping it at 6-6.
To go along with this tough starting break for the Trojans to not stop that Panther drive, the injury bug started to sting the Trojans when that first drive for them on offense introduced senior back/defensive end Devin Bentheimer to a right ankle issue after a helmet that landed a little too low. And then the second drive came along and suddenly down went the backup for the senior, freshman DJ Lee, found himself down which also resulted in the Trojans losing their starting safety. This issue for Gaylesville only opened the door for Spring Garden to figure out things on defense and shut down the Gaylesville offense from here on, and the momentum spread to the Panther offense who added another 1st quarter TD (a 3 yard run by freshman back Weston Kirk paired with a 2 point conversion pass from junior QB Luke Ivey to Petty) and 2 2nd quarter touchdowns (junior Michael Floyd 1 yard run with Ivey to Slayton 2-point conversion and Andrew Floyd 1 yard TD run) along with a defensive pick-6 by Dylan Rogers for 40 yards brought the halftime score to 36-6.
The second half didn’t fair any better for Gaylesville as the hardships on offense continued with the lack of depth on the team showing how rough of a factor it can be. Luckily Gaylesville only held the Panthers to 2 scores in the 2nd half, but both were touchdown runs as Kirk got in for Spring Garden from 8 yards out in the 3rd, and the 4th saw a 1 yard score from Draeven Bowman with 5:32 left in the game. It wasn’t until the dust had more then settled and the fat lady had already sung a full symphony that just under 2 minutes left in the game Gaylesville could get on the board one last time with a 22 yard TD run from Dawson White, a failed 2 point conversion following but it was a last little try from the Trojans that ended 49 straight points scored against them since their opening drive score all the way back in the 1st. It was still just a matter of too little, too late, however, as the final buzzer gave the region win to the speedy youngsters from Spring Garden, again with a final of 49-12.
With the Week 2 victory, Spring Garden goes to 1-1 on the season overall and get to 1-0 to start Class 1A, Region 6 play. The hard loss will push Gaylesville not only to an 0-2 start to the 2017 season for them but also being down 0-1 on Region play is never fun. More region action will come for both teams next week, with Spring Garden traveling once again as they head into a battle of the Panthers against 2-0 (1-0) Woodville. For Gaylesville, they get the chance to prove themselves against probably their most fierce rival in the county as they visit Class 1A, Region 6 foe the Cedar Bluff Tigers (0-2).
WEIS Radio will be following the Trojans travel to Cedar Bluff this Friday and we will be covering the excitement all night long from L.D. Bruce Field as both these region foes look to finally get that first win of the season in a big way. With that though, just like last week, some stats for those who enjoy those on the remainder of this article along with county scores, and thanks for reading this recap of our Week 2 WEIS Game of the Week.
Spring Garden- 0 passing, 317 rushing
Gaylesville- 11 passing, 71 rushing
Luke Ivey (Spring Garden)- 0-for-2
Colby Scott (Gaylesville)- 1-for-7, 11 yds (1 rush, 1 yd, 1 TD)
Michael Floyd (Spring Garden)- 11 rushes, 97 yds, 1 TD; Weston Kirk- 11 rushes, 67 yds, 2 TDs
Devin Bentheimer (Gaylesville)- 6 rushes, 28 yds; Dawson White- 6 rushes, 24 yds, 1 TD
N/A (Spring Garden)
Brayden Stordahl (Gaylesville)- 1 reception, 11 yds
OTHER COUNTY SCORES
Cherokee County Warriors (0-3, 0-1)- 27-21 Loss vs Hokes Bluff
Cedar Bluff Tigers (0-2)- 42-0 Loss vs Sylvania
Sand Rock Wildcats (1-1, 1-0)- 17-13 Win vs Westbrook Christian