North Sand Mountain (3-0, 2-0) at Gaston (0-3, 0-2)
Series record: Gaston 4, NSM 0
Last meeting: 2003 Gaston 28, NSM 8
Last week: Section 21, Gaston 14; NSM 36, Sand Rock 21
By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent
A young Gaston High team got a bit younger last week when freshman Jordan Douglas was thrust into the spotlight against Section.
The glare apparently didn’t faze him, as Douglas completed 16-of-24 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
“The passing game was really good last week,” coach Josh Averett said. “Another good thing was that he completed passes to six different receivers. We were very happy with Jordan and with the entire passing game. There’s not much more we could’ve asked of Jordan.”
Averett said that in his two-plus seasons with the Bulldogs, that was the second-highest passing yardage in any game – and the higher game was against Woodville, so it has an asterisk beside it.
Averett also pointed to that first year as a possible harbinger of things to come.
“We started 0-3 my first season, then won the fourth game,” Averett said. “We finished 5-5 and made the playoffs. I’m hoping that kind of finish will happen this year.”
With all the young players, Averett knew the first few weeks would be critical, with three good opponents.
“They’re starting to figure out what it takes to win,” he said. “It usually takes three or four games for a young player to figure it out, and we have a bunch of players who have never played or have never played enough to count.”
No. 10 North Sand Mountain comes in on a roll after finishing 9-2 in 2011.
Quarterback Tyler Vann is the steam in the Bisons’ engine. Last week, he accounted for four touchdowns – two on the ground and a pair through the air.
“He’s probably as good an overall quarterback as any we’ll face this year,” Averett said. “To beat them this year, you have to slow him and that’s a chore in itself.”
Albert Douglas had five catches against Section, followed by Mitchell Smith with four and Destin Pollard with three.
Lee Cory had 12 tackles, followed by Jackson Bogle and Joey McClellan with nine each and Destin Pollard with eight.