By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
The Gaston Bulldogs exploded in the second half, putting 35 points on the scoreboard to swat a stubborn bunch of Hornets from Ider, 42-26, at Shinbone Ridge last Friday (Oct. 7).
The game was tied 7-7 at intermission when the Dawgs woke up and got offensive with their Class 2A, Region 6 rivals.
After making halftime adjustments, Gaston amassed 189 yards in the third quarter after gaining just 105 yards in the first half. The Bulldogs (5-3, 4-1) scored 20 points in the third quarter to go up 27-13.
The Bulldogs got the ball at their own 47-yard line after covering an onside side and took advantage of the good field position. Gaston marched 53 yards in 10 plays, capped off by a 9-yard touchdown run by J.D. Pope with 6:15 remaining in the final quarter. Pope also ran in the two-point conversion to give the Bulldogs the 35-20 lead.
Gaston’s Cameron Peacock stepped up to make the defensive play of the night. With (2-5, 1-4) trailing 35-26 late in the fourth quarter, Hornet quarterback Braxton Lassetter rolled out looking for a receiver. He threw the ball downfield and Peacock stepped in front of the receiver for the interception. The senior linebacker returned it 22 yards for a touchdown to help give Gaston the 16-point win.
“[Ider was] well-prepared for what we do,” said Gaston head coach Swane Morris. “You have to give credit to the kids for making the adjustments that we needed to make at half-time. You love when the kids can do that. We spent a little bit of time at halftime talking about some things that we needed to change.”
D.J. Pope rushed for 87 yards on 13 carries, while. J.D. Pope added 85 yards on seven attempts.
Ider wasted little time in taking a 7-0 lead, driving 55 yards in three plays on their first possession. Jacob Higdon scored on a 5-yard run. Ethan Colley added the PAT and Ider led 7-0 with 9:42 to go in the opening period.
Gaston then tied the score at 7-7, driving 93 yards with 3:18 to go in the first half. K.J. Hollingsworth threw a 7-yard pass to Alexander Allen for the score. Following the PAT the game was tied at the half.
“I’m just proud of our kids, because Ider is a very physical football team and they outsized us a little bit,” said Morris. “We just kept fighting.”
Gaston visits Westbrook Christian this week in region action.