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Escambia High Gators:Previous Season News Articles

Escambia High Gators

Saturday, August 26
Titans squeak one out
Aug 26, 2006
Article by Pensacola journalist Bill Vilona In effort to rekindle past success, Woodham knows it must break some recent habits. The Titans' season-opening performance offered a blueprint. While Super Senior tailback Cedric Richardson supplied the offense, the Titans leaned on their defense against second-half pressure to outlast Escambia 14-9 in a non-district clash between two old rivals. "It's something we haven't done in the past,'' said Michael Smith, Woodham's second-year coach. "We found a way to lose this kind of game in the past. And we found a way to win (Friday), so I'm very proud of our guys.'' Before a late-arriving, large crowd found its way into Woodham's stadium, Richardson already had discovered the end zone. On the game's second play, he took a sprint draw hand off, looked into a gaping hole on the left side provided by linemen Kenny Peaks and Jared Thomas, then galloped untouched for an 80-yard touchdown run. "I might have been nipped, just a little,'' said Richardson, smiling, after rushing for 198 yards on 18 carries. He would have easily eclipsed 200 yards if not for lost yards. WOODHAM 14, ESCAMBIA 9 Escambia 0 6 3 0-- 9 Woodham 7 0 7 0--14 First Quarter W--Cedric Richardson 80 run (Drew Pemberton kick), 11:03 Second Quarter E--Hunter Lampley 5 pass from Nathan Connally (kick failed), 5:52 Third Quarter W--C. Richardson 11 run (Pemberton kick), 8:28 E--Matt Carstens 27 FG, 4:16


Saturday, September 2
Gators pull off shocker
Sep 02, 2006
Artical By Pensacola News journalist: Derek Pivnick
Connally's late score seals upset of Wildcats Upstart Escambia High could have everyone clamoring for underdog status. Though in the larger District 1-4A, the Gators' football team might have been considered overmatched Friday night as they played host to Washington, the reigning District 1-3A champion that came into the game ranked No. 1 in the Pensacola News Journal poll. But it was the Gators who pulled out a 24-21 victory in a slugfest at Emmitt Smith Field.
The Gators said they used the Wildcats' lofty ranking to their advantage during practice. "We concentrated all week on facing the giant," coach Ronnie Gilliland said. "It's a big (win)." Escambia (1-1) lost a close game last week to Woodham, another 1-3A team, while the Wildcats crushed the Gators' 1-4A rival, Milton, 44-17. But, like Washington coach Chet Bergalowski said before his team took the field against the Gators, last week's game is just that -- last week.
"(Escambia) did a great job," Bergalowski said. "They out-coached us and out-played us."
Senior Escambia quarter-back Nathan Connally, who also handled punting duties and registered a key interception while playing defense in the fourth quarter, overcame personal tribulations during practice this week with the recent death of his godmother. "She always picked me up," said Connally, whose 1-yard touchdown run gave the Gators a 24-14 lead with 5 minutes, 43 seconds to play in the game. The Wildcats began clawing their way back, driving 65 yards in less than two minutes, to cut the lead to three on Byron Simmons' 7-yard touchdown run. Washington forced Escambia into a three-and-out with less than three minutes to play, but the Wildcats roughed Connally on the punt to give the Gators a first down and seal the win. "We had some big plays when we needed a big play," Gilliland said. Boy did they. Every time Washington made a play, the Gators struck back -- quickly.
The Wildcats started the scoring first, using a 26-yard scramble by senior quarterback Lynderrick Williams to the Gators' 10-yard line late in the first quarter. Three plays later, senior tailback Eric Hamilton took an option pitch from Williams on third-and-goal for the game's first touchdown. But the Wildcats barely had time to enjoy their lead. Fourteen seconds to be exact. Sophomore running back Trent Richardson took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to short-circuit the Wildcats' celebration and tie the game. Senior kicker Matt Carstens put the Gators on top with a 39-yard field goal late in the first half to make it 10-7, but the Wildcats came back on their second drive of the third quarter. After getting good field position by forcing the Gators to punt from their end zone, senior running back Dontarius Hale scampered 31 yards to put his team up, 14-10. The Wildcats' barely returned to their bench before Escambia scored again. Junior tailback David Calland ran for 10 yards on the first play. The next play, Connally pitched to senior running back Kamren Dixon, who went down the left sideline for a 73-yard romp. From there, Connally put the game away with his run to help Escambia pull off the upset. "I give all my credit to the O-line," Connally said.
ESCAMBIA 24, WASHINGTON 21
Washington 7 0 7 7--21
Escambia   7 3 7 7--24
First Quarter
W--Eric Hamilton 1 run (Michael Taylor kick), 3:55
E--Trent Richardson 90 kickoff return (Matt Carstens kick), 3:41
Second Quarter
E--Carstens 39 FG, 2:41
Third Quarter
W--Dontarius Hale 31 run (Taylor kick), 5:06
E--Kamren Dixon 73 run (Carstens kick), 3:33
Fourth Quarter
E--Nathan Connally 1 run (Carstens kick), 5:43
W--Byron Simmons 7 run (Taylor kick), 3:53


Saturday, September 9
Gators get best of Jags in rout
Sep 09, 2006
Artical by Pensacola News Journal correspondent Chris McDonald
Escambia's offense was riled with intensity Friday night. Led by their senior quarterback Nathan Connally, the Gators (2-1) rolled to a 42-0 victory against the West Florida Jaguars at Emmitt Smith Field. "(Nathan) made some good checks. It was his best game on offense this season," Gators coach Ronnie Gilliland said. "We did what we were supposed to do," said Connally, who had a 67-yard touchdown run during the second quarter and a 17-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Hunter Lampley during the third quarter. "I read the tackle and saw him go in. I was not sure if I got in or not," said Connally, referring to the long run.
 After a scoreless first quarter, Escambia broke through on fullback Anthony Johnson's 1-yard run early in the second quarter. The Gators led, 14-0, at the half. That changed quickly when the second half began. With 8:21 left in the 3rd quarter, junior fullback Elijah Jones scored on an 8-yard touchdown run.
On the next Jaguars possession, junior quarterback Evan Skipper lost a fumble, giving the Gators great field position on the Jaguars' 25. The Gators took advantage of the turnover as Jones scored again on a 4-yard run. After stopping the Jaguars again on offense, the Gators received the ball back with 4:29 left in the third quarter. The Gators were set up inside the Tech 5 by a 27-yard run from sophomore running back Demontra Jackson. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Porterfield punched it in from 1-yard out with 21.7 seconds left in the third quarter to cap off the Gators scoring.
The Gators are on the road next week, facing Panama City Rutherford, while the Jaguars have their first district game at Pine Forest.
ESCAMBIA 42, WEST FLORIDA TECH 0
West Florida Tech 0   0  0 0-- 0
Escambia            0 14 28 0--42
Second Quarter
E--Anthony Johnson 1 run (Matt Carstens kick), 11:42
E--Nathan Connally 67 run (Carstens kick), 2:00
Third Quarter
E--Hunter Lampley 17 pass from Connally (Carstens kick), 10:09
E--Elijah Jones 8 run (Carstens kick), 8:21
E--Jones 4 run (Carstens kick), 6:50
E--Porterfield 1 run (Carstens kick), :21


Saturday, September 16
Escambia dominates former powerhouse Rutherford, 42-7
Sep 16, 2006
From Pensacola News Journal staff reports
Once two powerhouses that received endless recognition and accolades, Springfield Rutherford and Escambia have fallen in recent seasons. But it looks like the Gators have turned the corner, while the Rams' fall from glory was magnified Friday night during a 42-7 loss to Escambia.
The once prideful Rams (0-4), a powerhouse program statewide throughout the 1990s, suffered the indignity of a running clock on their home turf at Tommy Oliver Stadium. And after hearing that the Escambia defense held the Rams to minus-1 yard on 28 rushing attempts, Gators coach Ronnie Gilliland nearly was speechless. "Our defense played great, that I knew," he said. "But to hear that stat, oh man, we really shut them down." If it wasn't for Escambia losing four first-half fumbles, the outcome would have been decided much earlier. Ahead 14-7 late in the second quarter, the Gators' David Calland scored on 17-yard run with 34 seconds left before halftime, giving Escambia a comfortable lead heading to the locker room. Quarterback Nathan Connally and fullback Anthony Johnson each scored two touchdowns in the game. Johnson rushed for 151 yards on 12 carries, including a 54-yard TD jaunt on a fake punt late in the first quarter. "Anthony Johnson ran pretty good (Friday) and Nate's really starting to run the offense well," Gilliand said. "Also, David came in and had some really solid runs, but credit also goes to our blockers and the backfield that help make those plays happen." The Gators completely dominated the line of scrimmage, holding a whopping 392-68 edge in total yards. They rushed for 332 of them, and spearheaded by defensive tackles Hunter Lampley and DeAndre Johnson dismantled Rutherford's ground game.


Wednesday, September 20
Pensacola News Journal Offensive Player of the week

Sep 20, 2006
Anthony Johnson, Escambia, FB
Who says fullbacks are only good for blocking? Don't tell that to the this lead Gator. The 5-foot-11, 217-pound junior bowled over Springfield Rutherford defenders, rushing for 145 yards on just 11 carries and scoring twice as Escambia (3-1) routed the Rams, 42-7. He has just 135 yards and one touchdown in three previous games this season before Friday.



Saturday, September 23
Eagles win sloppy
Sep 23, 2006
Article by Peosacola News Journalist Chuck Corder His scowl said enough. A fumble? That one could bite us. Cratez Abrams knew it. Kneeling between teammates, the Pine Forest running back was ripping himself apart without uttering a word. Did he let it get him down? Let it swallow his confidence? You must not know Abrams. He jogged back onto the field for the next drive Friday night, smothered his strong arms around the ball and carried the Eagles to the end zone as Pine Forest, ranked second in the News Journal Top 5, defeated No. 5 Escambia, 14-0, at Lon Wise Stadium. Abrams, who finished with 121 yards on 20 carries, touched it five times during the third-quarter drive, including the 16-yard touchdown run to match Alfred Morris' 2-yard plunge in the first quarter. "Coming off the fumble, to drive the ball down the field boosted me up," the senior said. He took the end-around, then swiveled sideline-to-sideline until he reached the right tackle where he darted into open real estate. He cut left, shifted his weight back right to avoid tacklers and strolled toward the right pylon untouched. It looked easy. Sort of like how Abrams' defensive counterparts made it look. The Eagles (5-0), off to their best start since finishing undefeated with the Class 4A state title in 2000, registered their third shutout of the year and second in consecutive weeks. "Our defensive line stepped up tonight," Pine Forest coach Jerry Pollard said. "We got a great rush from our defensive ends and linebackers, and I thought our secondary played well tonight. The defense fought hard." The defense picked off Escambia quarterback Nathan Connally twice. They harassed him throughout, including getting two sacks from James Tow. The Eagles held a vaunted rushing game to 58 net yards on 35 rushes. "They're a real fast team," Tow said. "The whole night we made sure they couldn't get outside. If they did, we punished 'em." Which is something nobody had done to the Gators (3-2) before Friday. They had impressed this season, upsetting Washington in Week 2 and stringing together a pair on landslide victories the last two weeks. They never got on track Friday, though they had opportunities. Escambia started three second-half possessions on Pine Forest's side of the field, including both of Abrams' fumbles. The second put the ball first-and-goal inside the 10. Things went south quickly after David Calland ran for 2 yards on first down. Connally dove on top of a fumble after a botched snap. He ran for his life when the Eagles sent the house on third down, before Jesse Broadnax wrestled him to the ground. The ball bounced off Kamren Dixon's chest at the goal line on fourth down and the ball went back to Pine Forest. "You gotta cash in," Escambia coach Ronnie Gilliland said. "They got after us, there's no doubt. We didn't block well, had a lotta busted plays and took ourselves out of it. If we could've scored we would've been in the game." That never happened, though. The Pine Forest defense never allowed it, picking up the slack for an offense that sputtered with three fumbles. #2 PINE FOREST 14, #5 ESCAMBIA 0 Escambia 0 0 0 0-- 0 Pine Forest 7 0 7 0--14 First Quarter PF--Alfred Morris 2 run (Sven Hurd kick), 3:19 Third Quarter PF--Cratez Abrams 16 run (Hurd kick), 4:08


Saturday, September 30
Gators grind down Patriots
Sep 30, 2006
Article by Pensacola News Journalist: Derek Pivnick.
The Escambia Gators gave a homecoming crowd at Emmitt Smith Field a big win Friday, as they toppled Pace, 16-10, in both teams' District 1-4A opener.
The Gators (4-2, 1-0) relied on defense and took advantage of several costly Patriots turnovers for the win.
"We knew this was going to be tough," Escambia coach Ronnie Gilliland said.
The Gators raced to a 9-0 first-quarter lead and held off a late Pace surge.
The Patriots (4-2, 0-1) came in ranked No. 4 in the News Journal poll after a come-from-behind win at home last week against Washington.
"Escambia did a good job," coach Mickey Lindsey said. "We've just got to get better."
Pace, down by only 6 with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, still had a chance to pull out another heart-stopping win. But the Patriots lost 23 yards in their last drive by fumbling a snap and allowing two sacks.
The Gators' senior defensive tackle Hunter Lampley applied much of the pressure by wreaking havoc in the Pace backfield. Lampley registered a 12-yard sack of Pace junior QB Patrick Coogan on fourth down with less than a minute left in the game to snuff out the final Pace threat.
"I just ended up in the right place at the right time," Lampley said.
Gilliland gave his player more credit.
"Hunter played a heck of a game," he said. "We wanted our defense to stay on the field, they were playing so good."
Escambia started the scoring on their first possession with a 20-yard Matt Carstens field goal midway through the first quarter, a drive kept alive by Patriots miscues.
After forcing the Gators to punt from their own 17, a penalty for roughing punter Nathan Connally gave Escambia new life.
Escambia later converted on a fake punt and added a 49-yard pass from Connally to Bryan Simmons to the 8.
After giving up the three points, Pace's drive fizzled out on their next possession.
The Patriots narrowed the gap to 9-7 less than four minutes into the second quarter with a 5-yard run by senior fullback Tre Daniels.
However, none of Pace's next five possessions could put points on the board.
Still, Pace kept the game close going into the fourth. After forcing another Escambia punt and getting the ball down by two points with 7:49 left, Pace fumbled.
Escambia made fast work of the turnover. Connally pitched to sophomore Demontra Jackson for a 29-yard touchdown on the next play.
"They fought," Lindsey said of his team. "They just made the wrong mistakes."


Sunday, October 15
Panthers sit in 1-4A driver's seat
Oct 15, 2006
Article by Pensacola News Journalist Bill Valona
Turns out, the quarterback in Jeremy Tolbert's multi-faceted, athletic life never really left.
It was just waiting to be revived.
Making his first start since 2004, the Milton High senior summoned his prowess, tossed three touchdown passes, ran for another and led the explosive Panthers to a 36-8 rout Friday night against visiting Escambia.
"I still had it in me, I guess," said the smiling Tolbert, who reconverted from receiver and defensive back. "The crowd got going. That got us going. And just like coach said, it was just like riding a bike again."
Nothing was forgotten. Certainly not proficiency.
The Panthers played like the weather at Haywood Hanna Stadium: Clear and crisp.
They scored on their first two possessions, built a 22-0 lead before the Gators knew what hit them and cruised to an emphatic victory that put Milton out front in the race for the District 1-4A championship.
The Panthers (6-2, 2-0) can clinch the title with a win Oct. 27 against rival Pace, while a Patriots victory could force a three-team shootout between Milton, Pace and Escambia if the Gators beat Tate the same night.
Milton was fortunate to have Tolbert back in the lineup.
After suffering a slight fracture in his collarbone Sept. 8 against Pine Forest, Tolbert had been hoping for another chance to play. When Panthers starting quarterback Dustin Land broke his collarbone two weeks ago, the plan was set.
Tolbert took some practice snaps at quarterback in preparation for the Gulf Breeze game a week ago but did not play. He was given medical clearance Monday.
"When he was cleared, we knew we had another weapon," said coach Mike McMillion, who son, Mike, lead the Panthers to a win against Gulf Breeze and played quarterback in certain situations Friday night. "(Tolbert) is a talent. He's played receiver for us, defense for us, quarterback for us.
"We knew he was going to come back. He just came back at a very crucial time. We've been working on this for a couple weeks."
As sharp as Tolbert played, it could have fooled anyone. It sure caught Escambia off guard. The Gators (4-3, 1-1) were unable to thwart Milton's early flurry. The Panthers took the opening kickoff and traveled 65 yards in 10 plays. The biggest play was Tolbert's 28-yard completion, on third down, to fellow basketball player LeDre Bender.
That sent up Talris Brown's 4-yard score on a toss sweep.
"It was pretty important to set the tempo," Tolbert said.
It was a bad omen for Escambia. The Gators managed only one first down the first half.
"They did a good job controlling the ball in the first quarter," said Gators coach Ronnie Gilliland. "We only had (five) plays (during the first quarter), so that's our fault on offense."
The next time Milton got the ball, the Panthers drove 80 yards. But the biggest was one play. From his own 42, Tolbert executed a perfect pump fake, then had a smooth launch for wide-open receiver Marco Dixon on a 58-yard score.
"I think they were looking forward to getting after a young sophomore (his son Mike McMillion), and we were fortunate to have a senior on the field," coach McMillion said.
After Tolbert threw an interception on the next series, the Panthers' defense again forced a quick stop. This time, Tolbert and Bender hooked up in the end zone, as Bender made a great over-the-shoulder catch between two defenders for a 38-yard score.
"I thought (Tolbert) might play some," Gilliland said. "We knew he was a good athlete, and they've got some great receivers. He did a good job. I thought we would do better."
The Gators' only whiff of momentum came when junior David Calland returned a kickoff to the Panthers' 2. A play later, Anthony Johnson bulled his way into the end zone, then followed with a two-point conversion run.
Escambia had the ball to start the second half and drove to a first-down at the Milton 15. But the Panthers produced a game-sealing defensive play.
Receiver Kareem Dixon had the ball jarred from his grasp and a solid collision, the Panthers recovered and Tolbert did the rest.
On third-and-4 from his 32, Tolbert ran the option, cut inside, broke a tackle, got into the clear and outran Escambia for a 68-yard touchdown run to make it 29-8.
Turn out the lights.
"It was a great team effort all the way," coach McMillion said. "Jeremy played well. He's been exposed to a lot of competitive situations, and that showed up.

MILTON 36, ESCAMBIA 8
Escambia 0 8 0 0-- 8
Milton   15 7 7 7--36
First Quarter
M--Talris Brown 4 run (Brian Ware pass from Jeremy Tolbert), 6:45
M--Marco Dixon 58 pass from Tolbert (Drew Winkles kick), :32.4
Second Quarter
M--LeDre Bender 38 pass from Tolbert (Winkles kick), 6:13
E--Anthony Johnson 2 run (Johnson run), 5:49
Third Quarter
M--Tolbert 68 run (Winkles kick), 5:58
Fourth Quarter
M--Keenan Tillman 60 pass from Tolbert (Winkles kick), 10:26


Sunday, October 22
Catholic leaps by Escambia
Oct 22, 2006
Article by Pensacola News Journalist Kris Toma.
Quite simply, one team showed up and the other didn't Friday night.
News Journal No. 4 Catholic rolled past Escambia, 40-17, at Emmitt Smith Field by taking advantage of every opportunity and showcasing the kind of teamwork coaches only dream about. "I would say this was the picture perfect team effort," Crusaders coach Greg Seibert said. "I have 37 guys that come to work every single day, and when that happens these are the kind of results we can expect."
The Gators (4-4), meanwhile, were plagued by inconsistencies on offense and defense all evening. "I never know how they are going to play, but we didn't play well," Escambia coach Ronnie Gilliland said. "We knew that they were going to throw the ball and score but the disappointing thing was that we weren't able to run our offense effectively."
To make matters worse, Catholic (7-1) finished what Milton started last week in tearing apart Escambia's defense. Wounded after their 36-8 loss to the Panthers, the Gators hoped to rip into the Crusaders' offensive line to prove they deserved early-season praise for their  defense. But the Crusaders kept finding the holes. Alex Bast, Robert Whibbs and brothers Josh and LeJerrold White were among quarterback David Kooi's favorite targets.
On the Crusaders' third possession, running back Alex Williams opened the scoring with a 3-yard run with a little more than a minute to play in the first quarter to put Catholic ahead early, 7-0. Escambia kicker Matt Carstens contributed the Gators' only points of the first half with a field goal just before intermission as Escambia's defense held the Crusaders scoreless in the second. Down by four to start the third quarter, Escambia answered immediately when receiver Bryan Simmons caught a long pass from quarterback Nathan Connally for Simmons' first touchdown catch of the season to take the lead. But that TD also would mark the last time the Gators would be ahead. Catholic's Bast, a sophomore, scored 54 seconds later when he caught a 15-yard pass from Kooi. The White brothers scored the next two Catholic touchdowns -- little brother LeJerrold rushing for 12 yards with three minutes to play and older brother Josh catching a 25-yard pass from Kooi with a minute left in the third quarter.
Kooi then hit Bast again, this time for a 75-yarder to open scoring in the fourth quarter and Catholic's lead to 33-10. Geoffrey Young came in to relieve Kooi with two minutes left in the fourth, and ran in the final Crusader touchdown.
Escambia sophomore quarterback Anthony Porterfield, subbing for Connally, connected with sophomore running back Demontra Jackson for a 47-yard touchdown a minute later for the game's final score, though the Gators were far too late.
"We just have to come together as a team and be able to start a game strong and finish it strong," Simmons said. "We can do much better than this. Catholic's a good team, but we didn't show up tonight."

#4 CATHOLIC 40, ESCAMBIA 17
Catholic 7 0 20 13--40
Escambia 0 3 7 7--17
First Quarter
C--Alex Williams 3 run (Diego Figuroa kick), 1:21
Second Quarter
E--Matt Carstens 25 FG, 2:05
Third Quarter
E--Bryan Simmons 82 pass from Nathan Connally (Carstens kick), 11:04
C--Alexander Bast 15 pass from David Kooi (kick blocked), 10:11
C--LeJerrold White 12 run (Figuroa kick), 3:08
C--Josh White 25 pass from Kooi (Figuroa kick), :56.8
Fourth Quarter
C--Bast 75 pass from Kooi (kick failed), 11:39
C--Geoffrey Young 12 run (Figuroa kick), 2:13
E--Demontra Jackson 47 pass from Anthony Porterfield (Carstens kick), 1:04


Saturday, October 28
Escambia tops Tate, forces three-team shootout
Oct 28, 2006
Article by: Darrell Chatraw  News Journal correspondent After giving up 76 points in back-to-back losses, the Escambia Gators spoiled Tate's homecoming by winning, 24-12, to force a three-way shootout for the District 1-4A championship with Milton and Pace.
"It was a good win," Gators coach Ronnie Gilliland said. "We played a lot of young guys because we have so many hurt. We got a chance now. We could be district champs."
A slick field and turnovers kept both teams off the scoreboard during the first half. The Aggies, who had high hopes after their overtime victory against Fairhope last week, broke the stalemate and got on the board first.
The Aggies' defense stopped the Gators late during the first quarter on fourth-and-1 at Tate's 40-yard line.
Tate linebacker Tristan Butler took down Gators quarterback Nathan Connally short of the first down, giving the Aggies the ball and good field position. The Gators' defense allowed Tate to move to the 24-yard line before finally stopping the Aggies' running game. With 8:46 left in the second quarter, kicker Blake Erickson connected on a 42-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. The Gators wasted no time in retaliating, taking the kickoff to their own 35-yard line. Connally connected with Bryan Simmons on a long pass the first play from the line of scrimmage.
"I just threw it up there and let Bryan run under it," Connally said. "I knew he was faster than the defensive back."
Faster than everyone on the field as Simmons hauled in the pass and took it 65 yards for a touchdown. Matt Carstens added the point after for a 7-3 Escambia lead.  After forcing Tate to punt with 1:24 remaining in the half, the Gators went to the air and with two passes and one good run, where on the Aggies 15.  Time was short so Carstens came on for a 32-yard field goal to close the half and give Escambia a 10-3 edge.
Escambia fumbled on the first play of the second half giving the ball to Tate on the Gators 32. Escambia defensive end, Andrew Ivey came up with big tackle to force the Aggies to kick a field goal. Erickson put another long one through from 42 yards out bring the score to 10-6 Escambia.
The Gators next drive ate time off the clock and yards. Escambia capped its 72-yard drive with a 1-yard run from Connally, jumping over for the touchdown. Carstens' PAT made it 17-6.
With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter Zakary Meredith intercepted a Connally pass to set up Tate's last scoring march. Nine plays later Brandon scored on a 2-yard run. A two-point conversion pass attempt failed, leaving it 17-12 Escambia.   Escambia gained the insurance needed for the win on a fourth-down halfback pass from Kamren Dixon to Simmons for a 28-yard touchdown.   "Coach told me we only needed 2 yards, but I didn't think I would get it and I saw Bryan open so I threw it," Dixon said.
Carstens' kick was good to make the final score of 24-12.

ESCAMBIA 24, TATE 12
Escambia 0 10 7 7--24
Tate 0 3 3 6--12
Second Quarter
T--Blake Erickson 47 FG 8:47
E--Bryan Simmons 65 pass from Nathan Connally, (Carstens kick)
E--Carstens 32 FG, :03
Third Quarter
T--Erickson 43 FG, 8:44
E--Connally 1 run (Carstens kick), 3:48
Fourth Quarter
T--Brandon Davis 2 run (pass failed), 8:38
E--Simmons 28 pass from Kamren Dixon (Carstens kick), 3:52


Saturday, November 4
Tigers keep bronze tub
Nov 04, 2006
Article by Pensacola News journalist Bill Vilona
Pensacola High receiver Mitchell Mouton thought he was a decoy on the game's biggest play, until he looked up at a pass headed his way.
"My ball or no ball,'' he said.  It became his ball. His night. His team.
The Tigers, relying on a dominating defense and Mouton's 47-yard touchdown catch midway in the forth quarter, hoisted another bronze-coated tub of a trophy, beating Escambia, 13-10, for a fifth consecutive win in the storied city rivalry.
"How long has this (series) been played? Fourty-seven years? Wow, this rivalry is good and strong,'' said Mouton, a senior who hasn't lost to Escambia. "And I hope to be here when my grandchildren are here.''  Whenever that is, Mouton will have some feats to relate.
He scored Pensacola High's other touchdown on a 2-yard pitch in the first quarter. He set up his own score by intercepting a pass at the Gators 30 and returning it to the 14.
This rivalry's nickname, "Battle of the Tub,'' became Mouton's marquee.
"He's a great football player,'' PHS coach Mike Bennett said. "And we're going to miss him. He's made some great catches for us. We've got to find another Mitchell Mouton.''
Bennett's first priority was trying to find a place to hide when the game ended. He was doused by not one, but two full buckets of ice by his players. A real tub of freezing celebration.  He loved it, though.  "You can't say enough about these kids,'' said Bennett, whose team finished its season 8-2. "They never lost to Escambia. That was real important to them.''  Both teams, out of the playoffs and dealing with injuries to many players, locked into a battle of turnovers, penalties and few moments of offensive rhythm.  The Gators coughed the ball up on their first five possessions of the game. And yet, at halftime the game still was tied.  "Offensively, we've got a lot of folks hurt and it's hard to get something going,'' said Escambia coach Ronnie Gilliland, whose Gators (5-5) will face Panama City Bay in a bowl game next Friday. "And then when you run into a defense like Pensacola High has got -- they've got some big ol' boys who can run.''   But the Gators' defense held its own. PHS alternated quarterbacks between junior Keldric White, the No. 1 quarterback who is battling an ankle injury, and Chris Lett, the cornerback turned two-way player.  Despite four turnovers on their side of the field, and other which killed their longest drive, the Gators weren't in a halftime hole.  That's because Escambia defensive back Kamren Dixon jumped on a PHS miscue, a sideline throw from White toward Lett. Dixon caught it in full stride and raced 60-yard untouched for a tying touchdown with 2:49 left before halftime.
The Gators took a lead on Matt Carstens' 36-yard field goal with 1:18 left in the third quarter.  The way both teams' offenses were unable to move the ball, it looked like that kick could be the game-deciding play.  But everything changed when Escambia tried to block a punt with Pensacola High's Brenton Goodman standing in his end zone. Goodman got the punt off, but was roughed on the play, giving the Tigers' new life at their 19.
Eleven plays later, on a first down from the 47 and Lett taking a bathroom break, White re-entered at quarterback and hooked up with Mouton.  As the ball came down, Escambia's Bryan Simmons had it for a split-second, but Mouton wrestled it away from him, then raced the final 20 yards for the touchdown.  "My momentum carried me into him and I took it away,'' Mouton said.  The Tigers only lament was not taking away one more game, either a win against district foes Washington or Pine Forest. A year ago, they made the playoffs with a 7-3 record.  "I'm very happy to be 8-2,'' Bennett said. "We lost to two great football teams, but our kids bounced back. We beat Gulf Breeze, we came back to win our rivalry game, so it's been a great season."

PENSACOLA HIGH 13, ESCAMBIA 10
Pensacola High 7 0 0 6--13
Escambia 0 7 3 0--10
First Quarter
P--Mitchell Mouton 2 run (Jason Axley kick), 4:47
Second Quarter
E--David Calland 60 INT return (Matt Carstens kick), 2:49
Third Quarter
E--Carstens 36 FG, 1:18
Fourth Quarter
P--Mouton 47 pass from Keldric White (kick blocked), 6:56


Friday, November 10
Escambia Routes Panama City Bay
Nov 10, 2006
Escambia High (6-5) handed Panama City Bay (7-4) its first shutout loss of the season topping them 20-0 in the first Emerald Coast Classic Bowl at Panama City.
The Gators played mostly underclassmen and were led by two touchdown passes from sophomore Anthony Porterfield to Brian Simmons. Porterfield was starting for the injured Nate Connally.  Fullback Anthony Johnson ran for a 61-yard touchdown during the second quarter. While senior kicker Matt Carstens was went 2-3 on the PAT



 
 

Escambia High Gators

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