Watson relishes his first win at GHS --
GALLATIN – Born and raised in Gordonsville, first year Gallatin football coach Chad Watson made sure to shake hands and swap hugs with some of his Smith County pals on the Lebanon coaching staff in the aftermath of Friday's convincing 28-7 victory over the Blue Devils at a nearly full Calvin Short Field.
But there was no way to wipe the grin off his face.
“I think I walked into a good situation,” Coach Watson said after the game.
“This place has all the components you need in order to build a successful program. It starts with the support of our administration, anything we've asked for – they've jumped to help us. The fans are unbelievable and I walked into a great group of kids who were ready to win some ballgames.”
Senior Spencer Briggs was a workhorse, reeling of 119 yards on 30 tough carries. While most of his carries resulted in short gains, Briggs popped three runs for 16, 17 and 13 yards to help keep drives alive. He ran for 82 yards and a touchdown after intermission.
“I've been doing this (coaching) a long time,” Coach Watson said. “Spencer Briggs might just be the best back I've ever had.”
The Green Wave took a 7-0 lead into intermission on the strength of a 36-yard pass from Isaiah Briscoe to a diving Luke Springer with 5:38 remaining in the first period. Prior to Springer's outstanding catch, the two teams slugged it out swapping punts and field position.
Gallatin pushed the lead to 14-0 early in the third quarter after Lebanon's De'Quantay Shannon muffed a punt, giving the home team the ball at the Blue Devil 13.
Rugged James Mason bulled in from one-yard out, ending a brief three-play drive with 9:35 left in the third.
Lebanon responded with later in the period with a five-play, 54-yard scoring drive that ended with Shannon blasting off left tackle from 19 yards out, cutting the Gallatin lead to 14-7 at the 7:56 mark.
The Blue Devil defense forced a punt and got the ball back, but a failed fourth and one at the Gallatin 15-yard line ended a would-be game tying drive and gave the ball back to the Green Wave offense.
Gallatin put the game out of reach with a six-play, 85-yard drive early in the fourth quarter as Briggs scored his only touchdown on a seven-yard burst with 10:44 remaining in the contest.
The Green Wave tacked on another score as Briscoe tallied on a one-yard burst at the 2:11 mark.
“This one wasn't pretty and I'll take full responsibility,” said third-year Lebanon coach Chuck Gentry.
“I thought we were ready to play. We had a good look in our eyes, but for some reason, we didn't play good football tonight.
“It's my job to get it fixed one way or the other – I promise you that. Gallatin has a good football team, but you can't give 'em the short field. We kept putting our defense in the hole and we certainly didn't help ourselves in the kicking game.”
As a team, Lebanon ran 45 times for an even 200 yards. Shannon accounted for 22 attempts and finished with 90 years while QB Breeze Copas ran 18 times for 74. Hearn came off the bench for 36 yards on just four attempts.
Briscoe completed 5-of-9 pass attempts for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Gallatin returns to action Friday, Aug. 30 hosting Sumner County rival Station Camp. The Blue Devils welcome Nashville McGavock to Tribble Field / Watkins Stadium for the LHS home opener.
MORE WILSON COUNTY RESULTS --
Trousdale County 14, Friendship Christian 0
Wilson Central 37, Springfield 7
Watertown 19, Gordonsville