Escambia High Gators: Schedules and Varsity Game Summary

Escambia rallies to defeat Rutherford in OT
Written by Bill Vilona, Pensacola News Journal reporter

His face was flushed with fear and relief as Escambia High coach Scott Anderson tried to grasp the meaning of the Gators 24-21 overtime victory Friday night against Panama City Rutherford.

In his career, Anderson couldn't remember another win that was as gratifying or concerning as this one.
After Escambia's DeShawn Sellers, a senior receiver, was rushed to the hospital, after sustaining a head injury in the final minute, his teammates dug into all the emotional resolve they had left to pull off the season's first victory. The Gators trailed 21-7 entering the fourth quarter, but they produced two touchdowns two minutes apart, then staved off a Rutherford field goal attempt with 2:05 left to get the game into overtime.
"It would have been easy the way some things happened in the game to shut it down, but we kept battling and kept battling," Anderson said. "That is very, very positive for us.
"When you think of what our kids have been through in the last seven days with the death of a former classmate and teammate and DeShawn getting hurt. ... It has been a very emotional week around here. Obviously, this is big."
The Gators were trying to win the game in the final minute when Sellers went up for a pass with a Rutherford defender at the Rams 40.
Both players got tangled battling for the ball and as Sellers was pulled down, following the deflection, the back of his head slammed against the turf.
He did not move. The clock stayed on 32.5 seconds as minutes passed.
Trainers from the Andrews Institute rushed out, then paramedics were summoned. Sellers was carefully lifted on a stretcher without his head immobilized and transported to Sacred Heart Hospital.
“The good news was he was moving his hands and his arms. From what I saw, I am optimistic, but you never know,” Anderson said.
Following the delay, the Gators ran off four more plays and completed a pass to Shaquille Rogers at the Rutherford 10 when time expired
In the overtime, Escambia was stopped on third down, but Raphael Binder kicked a 25-yard field goal to put the Gators ahead.
Then it was Rutherford's turn.

On a second down run from the 5, the Gators Marcel Kidd and Stanley Tart combined to force a fumble against Rutherford's Josh Williams. T.J. Myers pounced on the ball for the Gators to win the game.
"Stanley held him up and I just exploded on him," Kidd said. "And the ball went free. It was a great feeling. We won it for (Sellers)."
"It was just a great feeling to see that ball laying there," Myers said.
Rutherford had a 21-7 halftime lead despite having the ball for only five minutes.


Incredibly, the Rams did not have a single offensive snap in the first quarter. Not one.
Their first possession? It happened with 8:49 left in the half.


Yet, the game was tied 7-7.


And three of the Rams first four offensive plays resulted in illegal motion or offsides penalties.

No matter.
On Rutherford's fifth play, senior tailback Josh Williams burst through a hole in the middle of Escambia's line and turned a 2nd-and-19 calamity into a 64-yard touchdown with 7:49.
The Rams' Alijah Saffore started the scoring when he picked up quarterback Jonarious Grimsley's fumble and went 80 yards for the game's first touchdown.
Escambia answered with its best series of the game. The Gators went 80 yards on 14 plays to tie the game on Deavious Ghee-Moton's 1-yard run. It ended Escambia's control of the ball. Rutherford then took control of the game.
After Williams' big run to give Rutherford a lead. Grimsley was ruled for intentional grounding at his own 1 while heaving the ball to avoid a sack. The Rams got the ball on Escambia's 23 after a punt. Five plays later, Rutherford had a two-touchdown lead.

Escambia 24, Rutherford 21 First Quarter
R - Alijah Saffore 80 fumble return (Eric Riley kick), 3:38.
Second Quarter
E - Deavious Ghee-Moton 1 run (Raphael Binder kick), 8:58.
R - Josh Williams 64 run (Riley kick), 7:49.
R - Dondrell Harris 1 run (Riley kick), 5:08.
Fourth Quarter
E - Airion Wallace 2 run (Binder kick), 11:08.
E - Jonarious Gremsley 5 run (Binder kick), 9:01.
Overtime
E - Binder 25 FG.

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

OT

Score

Escambia

0

7

0

14

3

24

Rutherford

7

14

0

0

0

21