Escambia High Gators: Escambia High Gators: 21 - Tate Aggies: 10

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  Escambia High Gators vs 21      
  Tate Aggies 10      
Game Played 10/29/2010 7:30PM  

Escambia, off to best start since '06, topples Tate
Gators at 5-3 with 21-10 win over Aggies
Jamie Secola • • October 30, 2010

When Escambia started its season 4-0, the team already had exceeded expectations. On Friday night, the Gators did it again.
Sophomore Ladarius Jones made his season debut at quarterback and led the Gators to a 21-10 victory against Tate. The win gave Escambia (5-3, 2-2 District 1-4A) its best season since 2006 when the Gators finished 5-5.

"I'm not sure how long it's been since Escambia hasn't had a losing season," said first-year coach Scott Anderson at Emmitt Smith Field. "We knew we needed to do something different after losing our last three games. We needed to shake things up, and we had some seniors step up for us and some younger guys step up."

Jones was one of the players who did just that.

The sophomore completed seven passes for 148 yards, and added 98 yards on the ground and ran for two touchdowns. His two scores put the Gators up 21-8 in the fourth quarter and kept the game out of reach for the Aggies (3-6, 1-3).

His performance also was another bright spot for a program that was shaken up during the preseason when former coach Jimmy Nichols resigned, and Anderson was hired just two weeks before the Gators' first game.

"We just came in and played as a team," Jones said. "Coach changed our offense and our defense a little and we just went out and had a big game."

Jones got his first touchdown on the opening possession of the second half, completing a 24-yard pass to sophomore Marcel Kidd to set up his seven-yard scoring run.

Jones found Kidd again in the fourth quarter, converting a first down on a 4th-and-17 play. He scored from 12 yards out three plays later.

"We took care of the football tonight," Anderson said. "Our offense was playing well, and once our defense settled in, we did well. This is a good team win."

The Aggies' lone touchdown came on their opening drive of the game. Sophomore quarterback David Moorhead threw a short pass up the middle to tight end Jacob Hedden, who charged down the middle for a 56-yard touchdown. Running back Lorenzo Long made a two-point conversion to put Tate up 8-0.

Escambia struggled on offense throughout the first half until Jones broke free for 37 yards, setting up a 27-yard scoring run by senior running back Michael Travis.

In the second half, when the offense wasn't able to produce, the defense did.

The Gators forced three Aggies turnovers and held the team to just 30 offensive yards. Tate's only other score came when Escambia's punter stepped out of the back of the end zone to give the Aggies a safety.

"You got to believe, you got to believe," Anderson told his team after the game. "Now, let's build on this."

First Quarter
T - Jacob Hedden 56 pass from David Moorhead (Lorenzo Long run), 7:48.

Second Quarter
E - Michael Travis 27 run (Jonathan Lister kick), 3:41.

Third Quarter
E - Ladarius Jones 7 run (Lister kick), 8:53.

Fourth Quarter
E - Jones 12 run (Lister kick), 6:51.
T - Team, Escambia punter stepped out of end zone, 3:43.

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