|Gallatin's fast start slows down in loss to Oakland|
|Tuesday, September 11, 2012|
Up 14-0 on Oakland 8:07 into the game, all signs were pointing up for Gallatin.
Then the final 39:53 happened.
And in the end, the Green Wave had turned the ball over six times, lost their starting quarterback and scored no more points on the way to a 44-14 loss to the visiting Patriots.
Gallatin’s Darian Banks recovered a live ball on the opening kickoff and four plays later, Caleb Robb caught a 5-yard pass from Morgan Campbell.
On Oakland's (2-2) first drive, the Gallatin (2-2) defense bent to the tune of 68 yards in 11 plays to their own 2 but did not break. They forced a fumble that Travis Pryor recovered in the end zone.
Banks followed with a 55-yard inside screen pass to get into scoring position and three plays later caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Campbell. With 3:53 left in the first quarter it was 14-0.
“The first quarter that momentum was great,” Banks said. “We got the ball on the kickoff right there and we scored. We were hyped. We were together. Then we went down. We’ve got to do better in practice.”
Oakland bookended a Gallatin drive that stalled at the Patriot 28 with back-to-back scoring drives of its own to tie the game with 8:03 left in the first half.
Campbell’s last throw was an interception as he was injured with 2:41 left in the half (shoulder) and did not return. Marcus Williams replaced him at QB and his first throw was an interception.
The Pats then converted the back-to-back interceptions into scoring drives and a 34-14 lead at the break.
Oakland quarterback Emmanuel Smith rushed for 138 yards on 17 carries and had both rushing and receiving touchdowns.
“We were too slow reading our keys,” Pryor said. “We’d overflow and then they’d cut it back. We never wrapped up. We’d hit them in the backfield and they’d keep going. We didn’t do our jobs on defense.”
Smith, a 6-2 junior, had all kinds of room to run against a Green Wave defense that had allowed 114 yards on the ground in their last seven quarters of play and no point in their last six quarters of play entering the game.
“Oakland is a different team; everybody knows that,” Gallatin defensive lineman Corey DeBoe said. “Coach said ‘big-boy football.’ They’re a 6A team and they’re a better team than the last two teams we’ve played. But we didn’t show up like we did the last six quarters.”
Gallatin moved the ball 84 yards over its first four drives of the second half with two interceptions and a missed field goal. Oakland scored on a 35-yard field goal and an 8-yard pass in the final two quarters.
“We kind of shocked Oakland there at the beginning,” Gallatin coach Mark Williams said. “But I think as the game wore on, Oakland’s will to come back was stronger than ours. We can never be complacent when we’re playing a team like that and I think we got a little complacent. We’ve got to learn to overcome that. I think our kids will learn from this and do a great job of rebounding from this.”
— Corby A. Yarbrough, Sports Editor
Oakland 44, Gallatin 14