The Gateway Gators came into their sixth game of 2018 with an established reputation.
The Gators have talent at all levels and are known for blowing teams away with an overwhelming display of speed and athleticism. The goal on offense is to get their skill players into open space with one-on-one matchups. On defense, they press, swarm and rely on their speed to make up ground, constricting opposing offenses.
Gateway played right up to their reputation against North Hills, overwhelming the Indians with speed and athleticism en route to their 45-0 win.
Gateway was off to the races from the first play of the game. They ran a fake option that turned into a bubble screen to Jeremiah Josephs. Josephs juked and maneuvered his way for 20 yards, and the rout was on.
An interception ended the first drive early, but Gateway got a quick and three and out and continued the big plays, making North Hills pay for not capitalizing on the turnover.
Derrick Davis took a stretch to the sideline, juked one defender out and was gone for a 44-yard touchdown. While that sounds like a game-breaking moment, it was the shortest touchdown the Gators scored in the first half. Heck, that was not even Davis’ longest touchdown of the half.
Davis caught a pass over the middle and ripped off over 50 yards after the catch in what resulted in a 62-yard touchdown.
Before that, Courtney Jackson got free over the middle of the field and found space to capitalize on a 91-yard touchdown. Jackson also added a 53-yard touchdown off of a bubble screen in the second half.
The Gators first drive of the second half featured a touchdown of less than 10 yards. However, it was aided by two runs of more than 30 yards from quarterback Brendan Majocha. The team even had three explosive touchdowns called back due to penalties. Every single tackle on defense felt like a minor win for the Indians.
For the Gators defense, their speed was forcing the North Hills into the exact opposite results. Without star wide receiver Tyler Brennan, North Hills was scrambling for an answer.
There was not a skill player on the unit that Gateway respected, and it showed in their coverage of the Indians offense. Gateway pressed their cornerbacks tight and brought their safeties and linebackers into the box. All 11 defenders were within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, and eight or nine men were consistently in the box.
Unfortunately, North Hills did not have much to spread out the Gators defense, as they continued to creep closer and closer to the line of scrimmage. The Gators ripped into the backfield and forced more North Hills turnovers than the Indians created first downs.
Jackson’s second half touchdown that put the team up 38-0 nothing in the third quarter was all that head coach Don Holl needed to see. Holl called off the dogs, and put the second unit in. Still, even from that point the Gators outscored the Indians 7-0. Talk about dominance.
The Gators head to Franklin Regional next week, while North Hills will play host to Mars.