Escambia High Gators: Schedules and Varsity Game Summary

Tate changes course, holds on for 28-27 upset against Escamb
01 Tate 08
Article By Jeff Haws • jhaws@pnj.com • September 5, 2008
Escambia High's Trent Richardson was deemed the unstoppable force, the player for whom Tate would have no answer.
Richardson was unstoppable at times Thursday night — gaining 191 yards and 4 touchdowns on 25 carries — but Tate answered with enough offense of its own for a dramatic 28-27 victory in the season-opening prep football game for both teams.
After Richardson powered for his final score on a 35-yard run with 1:36 remaining, Tate blocked the extra point and hung on for the win.
"I've been waiting very long for this day," said running back Jamarian Bonner, who led Tate with 107 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. "I really couldn't sleep, basically, the last two weeks. The coaches said they couldn't sleep the last two weeks. We really wanted to show everybody what we had.
After we lost to Washington in the preseason, everybody said he's (Richardson) going to run for an extra 100 yards this time."
This game proved quite an entrance for the season.
The Aggies, who yielded 407 yards to Richardson in a 30-8 loss in the 2007 opener, were a different team a year later.
They scored TDs on each of their three second-half possessions that didn't end in kneel-downs. Each time Escambia seemed on verge of gaining the emotional edge, but Tate took it back.
The Gators figured to tie the game and force overtime. But the snap on the extra point went awry. Tate's defense swarmed in. Jubiliation soon ensued.
It was Tate's first win in a season-opener in at least seven years. It was a nice bit of redemption for the Aggies, who had heard enough talk of the yards Richardson posted against them last year.
To be sure, Richardson made his impact felt Thursday. But so did the Aggies.
They threw a surprise at Escambia with a Wing-T offense, a throwback formation with the quarterback bunched among running backs and a blocker.
It's not the offense Tate normally runs, and the Gators never figured it out. Tate had three full possessions on which it didn't score a touchdown — two of them ended with fumbles, and the other was the only time the Aggies went away from the Wing-T.
When the Aggies stuck with that gameplan, they put together long drives of 76 yards in 9:00, 74 yards in 4:35 and 80 yards in 5:48.
Tate coach Ed Rigby said before the game that his best defense was a good offense. He also said he didn't care if Richardson ran for 500 yards as long as his team won by one point.
Prescient? Perhaps. What's clear is he knows how to stick with a strategy.
"The big thing was just control the clock," Rigby said. "Our whole thing was just keep them off the field. We're a spread throwing offense; our players tonight were unselfish. They just wanted to win by one point to shut up all the stuff from last year about Mr. 407. I don't know how many he ran for, but it wasn't 407."
No. But he did nearly send the game to overtime.
The Gator holder couldn't handle a low snap, though, and by the time Tim Brown was able to kick the ball, Tate had swarmed into the backfield. There was nowhere for the ball to go.
Following the play, Escambia tried an onside kick. Tate recovered.
The number 407 will follow Richardson.
But Tate won't have to bear the burden.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Score
Escambia

7

7

7

6

27

Tate

7

0

14

7

28