By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
The Collinsville Panthers found themselves in double trouble this past Friday (Sept. 9) at Shinbone Ridge.
The trouble came in the form of J.D. Pope and his twin brother D.J. as Gaston High held on for a 41-38 victory in Class 2A, Region 6 action at GHS.
D.J. rushed for106 yards on 15 carries and two scores, while J.D. finished with 96 yards and two touchdowns on 10 rushes.
“Both of them play hard and run the ball hard,” said Gaston head coach Swane Morris. “The line blocked well, and we made some adjustments because [Collinsville] blitzed their linebackers a lot, so we really keyed in on that.”
When Gaston went up 41-17 with 10:14 left in the game on a 5-yard touchdown run by Allen Black, it looked like Collinsville had no chance of making a comeback.
But the Panthers scored with 3:28 remaining to draw within 41-24, and two late touchdowns in the final 1:50 made it a three-point gap.
Collinsville (1-2. 1-1) their three time-outs in the last minute of the game, however, and a
Gaston first down sealed the win.
Quarterback Kevin Hollingsworth completed 3-of-7 passes for 118 yards for Gaston (2-2, 2-0). Tanner Jordan caught two passes for 7 yards.
The game was a seesaw affair early on, with the visitors from DeKalb County jumping to an early 10-0 lead with 6:07 to go in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs then outscored Collinsville 41 to 7 and held on for the win.
“We had a 24-point lead, and it got to the point where they subbed and we subbed,” said Morris. “You’re just trying to let everyone have some playing time. We talk about staying focused, and young guys need to stay focused during the week of preparation so when something like that happens, they can go out there and finish the job.”
Collinsville held a 17-13 lead at halftime before Gaston roared back to take a 21-17 lead.
“We felt in the first half that we were playing good ball, we just didn’t get the ball enough and had some coverage breakdowns,” said Morris. “[Collinsville] is a good football team, and they took advantage of it.”
Gaston travels to Sand Rock this Friday (Sept. 12) in region action.