PDT Sports Contributor
Before Friday night’s game against the Green Bobcats, coach Todd Gilliland said that the Tartans would have to stay on the gas for all four quarters and control the clock in order to have the best shot at getting revenge on the Bobcats.
The Tartans accomplished both of those goals as they used a powerful running game and a swarming defense to counter September’s loss at Green with a 39-0 shutout victory at Allard Park.
“We did exactly what we wanted to do by controlling the clock,” Gilliland said. “Green can’t score if they don’t have the ball. We made some mistakes early with some turnovers, some fumbles, but our guys persevered and stayed strong.”
East was led by another strong performance by the offensive backfield, as Jordan Bowen, Akia Brown and Jeremy Toller all scored touchdowns on the evening.
Brown was especially strong, as he carried the rock 23 times for 221 yards and accounted for three of the Tartans’ five touchdowns on the evening.
“The backfield did a great job working together tonight,” Gilliland said. “Jordan did a great job hitting the holes hard on our quick dives with him, and he and Jeremy did a great job lead blocking for Akia. Akia did a great job with his vision and hitting the holes and found the open seams, and Jeremy did a good job as well. (Jeremy) doesn’t get as many carries as the other two guys, but when he got the ball, he ran hard tonight.”
It was a totally different story for Green as the Bobcats were not able to gather much positive momentum throughout the game.
Green was able to force three turnovers inside the East 30-yard line but were not able to generate any offensive momentum as the Bobcats were unable to get into the red zone the entire evening.
Coach Dan McDavid said that various injuries to the offensive line hurt the Bobcats ability to run their offense.
“We lost Alex Otworth, our junior tackle, in the first quarter, and basically, we’re down to two sophomores and three freshmen playing (on the line) at that point,” McDavid said. “We just got to get more experience, get those guys snaps and repetitions, but they’re learning.”
However, there was a bright spot for the Bobcats, as Levi Mollett came up with another good performance this season. The senior running back ran for 96 yards on 16 carries to lead the way for Green.
“Levi plays hard all the time. He played hard until he sprained an ankle this evening. He hugged me at the end of the game and said ‘I’ll be ready next Friday,” McDavid said. “I said, ‘I know you will.’ Levi does a nice job and I’m happy he’s on our football team.”
Bowen would be the first of the East trio to put the ball in the end zone, as he carried two Green defenders with him on a 23-yard tote. Brown would punch in the ensuing two-point conversion with 3:50 to go in the first quarter to put East up by a score of 8-0.
Brown then match Bowen’s touchdown run with an 8-yard tally of his own. The ensuing two-point try was converted by Bowen to increase the Tartans’ lead to 16-0 with 1:36 to play in the first quarter.
East would only need to run two plays to score again early in the second quarter after DeShaun Martin returned a Clay Applegate punt to the Bobcats’ 17-yard line.
Toller would decide to join in on the fun from there as he added a 3-yard touchdown run, with Brown adding two more Tartan points on the ensuing conversion as East took a 24-0 lead, which would hold firm all the way from the 11:00 mark of the second quarter to the halftime break.
Both teams would trade possessions to start the second half, until East went on an 8-play, 60-yard drive that was capped off with another Brown touchdown, this time from three yards out. Michael Stiltner added the two-point conversion to put the score at 32-0.
After Green failed to convert a 4th-and-6 in East territory, the Tartans would go on another time-consuming drive, as an 8-play, 80-yard drive was capped off when Brown made a couple of Bobcat defenders miss in the open field en route to a 20-yard scamper. Tyler Gerald would add the extra point to cap off the scoring.
With the win, East will improve to 3-6 on the season. The Tartans will look to try to take three games in a row when they host Notre Dame next Friday at Allard Park.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, will look to erase a six-game losing streak as they travel to Oak Hill next Friday to take on the Oaks.
Green 0 0 0 0 - 0
East 16 8 8 7 - 39
E – Bowen 23 run (Brown run) 3:50
E – Brown 8 run (Bowen run) 1:36
E – Toller 3 run (Brown run) 11:00
E – Brown 3 run (Stiltner run) 2:45
E – Brown 20 run (Gerald kick) 9:51
Rushing: Green – Mollett 16-96, Allen 6-26, Bruton 2-5, Blevins 1-2, Gaffney 3-(-4), Marcum 4-(-5), Applegate 7-(-24); East – Brown 24-221, Bowen 13-129, Toller 6-32, Escamilla 4-7, Stiltner 1-6, Martin 2-4.
Passing: Green – Applegate 2-13-2 22, Gaffney 0-1-0 0; East – Stiltner 0-2-1 0.
Receiving: Green – Chavarria 1-19, Allen 1-3; East – N/A.