During his coaching tenure at East, James Gifford and the Tartans’ football program have not been afraid to challenge opponents that are of larger size from a school standpoint.
That mentality, more often that not, usually pays off in more ways than one.
On Friday evening, East gained valuable experience that could help the Tartans make a deep playoff run come November and picked up a huge victory as East pounded Albany Alexander, 53-20, in a nonconference contest that was played in Albany.
From the outset, the Tartans wasted no time collecting momentum as Brady Douthat used his rocket arm to find J.D. Hatcher for a 65-yard touchdown pass just 59 seconds into the contest. Douthat then added another pair of touchdown throws — an eight-yarder to Tommy Lambert and a 10-yard throw to Kyle Flannery — to increase the East advantage to 20-0 by the end of the first quarter.
The Tartans’ offensive attack was so dominant, in fact, that not even a five-yard touchdown spurt by Bradley McCollister could slow East down. A safety on a high snap, along with a one-yard dive from Ethan Gifford, allowed the Tartans to take a 35-7 lead at the halftime break. Gifford’s second rushing touchdown of the contest — a two-yard scamper — and another two-yard spurt from Flannery offset two Alexander touchdowns from McCollister and a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kaleb Easley to Matt Brown, while Ethan Carver added his own 40-yard touchdown sprint to finalize the scoring.
For the contest, the East defense held Alexander to 212 yards of total offense while capitalizing on three picks thrown by Easley thanks to Douthat, who completed eight of his 16 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 63 yards on a dozen carries. Flannery added seven carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns en route to 74 all-purpose yards and three scores, while Gifford and Carver combined for 88 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Hatcher’s 65-yard touchdown catch and Devon Stevens’ 55 all-purpose yards were additional factors in the Tartans’ victory.
With the win, East improved to 2-1 on the year with the victory. The Tartans will return home to host its first game of the year when SOC I rival Green comes to town.