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Escambia High Gators:Game Summary

Escambia High Gators

  Catholic @ EHS **Hall of Fame Night** Back to Schedules and Varsity Game Summary
  Teams: Score:      
  Escambia High Gators vs 21     Stats
  Catholic Crusaders 14      
Game Played 10/31/2008 7:00PM  

Richardson runs for 351
103108 01
Escambia edges Catholic
Jeff Haws • jhaws@pnj.com • November 1, 2008
Whether Escambia is ready for next week's do-or-die showdown with Pine Forest remains to be seen. But, clearly, Trent Richardson's legs aren't tightening up eight games into the season.
The senior and newly minted Rivals.com No. 1 running back in the nation had what could only be described as a workmanlike 351 yards and three touchdowns on a season-high 39 carries to lead the Gators to a 21-14 win against Catholic.
The numbers put Richardson at 1,849 unofficial yards for the season, surging him much closer to the mythical 2,000-yard mark and showing that he can rack up huge numbers even when he looks almost bottled in.
Catholic (7-2, 2-0) was stacking eight or nine defenders in the box most of the night, and Richardson had 20 carries of 5 yards or fewer. But he also had seven carries of more than 20, including a 53-yard touchdown run that gave Escambia the lead for good with 9:44 left and a 32-yarder in the second half that helped set up the Gators' tying touchdown.
He wasn't showing any wear down the stretch from the season-high number of carries, and the Gators (5-3, 1-1) had every intention to ride him wherever he was going to take them, even when running up the middle didn't seem to be working.
"We put the ball in (Richardson's) hands; they were going to have to stop him," coach Jimmy Nichols said. "I don't care what they do, they're not going to stop us running the isolation play. If they do, then we can run a sweep. We're going to run those two plays, one way or another."
And they did. And, for the second time in three weeks, Pine Forest coaches had the night off to scout out what they'd be seeing in a big district game the following Friday.
What they saw was exactly what you expect from Richardson, a moderately effective Escambia passing game and a defense that had its moments.
Many of those came in the first half, when these two offenses that have plenty of scoring ability — Escambia entered the game averaging 31 points, and Catholic was averaging 28 — not only couldn't score until Catholic's touchdown with 24.9 seconds left in the half but could only combine for one trip inside the opponent's 20 during that time.
Nichols said the Crusaders came out in a defensive alignment that threw off the Gators' blocking schemes, and it took a halftime adjustment to move it forward. Richardson said there may have been another issue early as well.
"I was very surprised," Richardson said, of the low-scoring first half. "I think we were too ready for the Pine Forest game next week. But we got back on the right track in the second half."
To a certain extent, they did, gaining 79 more yards in the second half than the first. But it was still more about the defense, which settled down after Catholic's 11-play, 72-yard drive on its first second-half possession, forcing the Crusaders into two three-and-outs and stopping them on a crucial fourth down inside the Escambia 10 late in the fourth quarter.
The Gators overcame two 7-point deficits to win against one of the best Class 2A teams and, even with Richardson's 351 yards, they may have to thank the defense even more for this one.
"We had to come back and play it tough (Friday night); we were down," Nichols said. "We did, we handled that battle. We challenged them at halftime, and they came back out and did what we asked them to do. Defensively, they played way better than they've played all year, to be honest with you."
They'll need to with a trip to Class 5A No. 5 Pine Forest looming on the horizon, Escambia's playoff fate resting on winning this one game. Richardson says 2,000 yards means nothing if they don't win, but 351 and another defensive effort like this one certainly gives them a better chance to do so.
SECOND QUARTER
C—Evin Smith 37 pass from Shaun White (Diego Figueroa kick) 24.9
THIRD QUARTER
E—Trent Richardson 6 run (Tim Brown), 9:07
C—Marquis Sumler 3 run (Figueroa kick), 5:34
E—Richardson 6 run (Brown kick) 3:40
FOURTH QUARTER
E-Richardson 53 run (Brown kick), 9:44




1st 2nd 3rd 4th Score
Escambia

0

0

14

7

21

Catholic

0

7

7

0

14





 
 

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