Gaston ends regular season with fourth straight win

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By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent

Swane Morris told his Gaston High football team that it didn’t need to “limp into the playoffs.”

Suffice it to say, the Bulldogs are alive and kicking after a 36-14 victory over Pleasant Valley on Thursday. 

Gaston led only 15-14 at halftime.

“In the first half, we missed a lot of blocks and assignments,” Morris said. “We didn’t complete plays. When we started doing the little stuff right, we started playing a lot better.”

Morris said that another difference was that the Bulldogs (7-3) were sluggish in the first half.

With both teams converting a two-point conversion, the only difference in the first half was a missed extra point by the Raiders (3-7).

It actually was credited as a block but the ball appeared to hit a Pleasant Valley player in the back.

Things got off to a good start for Gaston as Albert Douglas intercepted a pass on the second play from scrimmage and returned it to the Raider 25, giving Morris and Company a short field on which to score.

However, early in the second quarter, the visitors took advantage of a Bulldogs fumble and scored, making the score 7-6 after the extra point fiasco.

With Gaston taking the ball to start the second half, it was obvious that Morris’ adjustments were working as the Bulldogs drove to a score.

Mitchell Smith later broke free for a 73-yard touchdown scamper but it was called back for a holding call. Gaston went on to punt but scored on every other second-half possession.

Smith even got redemption, as on the next-to-last touchdown he had a 27-yard run followed by a 33-yard scoring rush.”One of the biggest changes in us this year is that we changed from a big-play team to a team that can drive the ball,” Morris said. “They know that you can’t think your way into a win – you’ve got to earn it.”

Gaston hosts a first-round playoff game Friday (Nov. 7) against Cold Springs.

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