At halftime, fans saw both teams enter the locker rooms with just 10 total points on the board (Gaither 7 TBT 3). 8 punts combined and little offense. However, the second half explosion was priceless.
Gaither QB, Alex McGough must have drank some gasoline at the half, because he caught fire. Ended the first half with just 58 yards on 20 attempts, he went to throwing the ball around connecting with Vu Le and Shug Oyegunle several times. 25 yard TD pass here, 49 yard TD pass there, McGough ended the game 15 of 33 for 296 yards, 5 TD passes and 2 INTs. Gaither would score 21 unanswered third quarter points and it looked like the Cowboys were going to run away with it.
Not so fast, Tampa Bay Tech. found what they were looking for as sophomore QB, Deon Cain engineered four second half scoring drives with big help for Richard Benjamin and Deon Thompson.
With just seconds left on the clock, TBT lined up inside the Gaither 10 yard line after another impressive offensive drive, looking to take the lead and district championship. This is what happened…
Gaither would knee the ball out and win the 7A-7 District Title.
BIG GAME PLAYERS
QB Alex McGough – 15/33 296 pass yards, 5 TDs and 2 INTs. Played like a leader in the second half. Avoided several sacks and made some amazing plays.
ATH Shug Oyegunle – 4 catches for 141 yards and 2 TDs. Showed why so many colleges are in love with his ability.
CB Amani Oruwariye – Jumped out in a Big Way. Made several key tackles, great zone and man coverage all night. Has the ability and size to be division 1 prospect.
DE Ernest Suttles – Fans in the booth were saying “How do we let this kid out of Tampa” (Iowa State commit)? He dominated. Could not be blocked and TBT doubled him and chipped him with the RBs as much as possible.
Tampa Bay Tech
QB Deon Cain – 22 of 42 for 189 pass yards, 2 TDs. The young QB showed poise and maturity. He stood in the pocket when he needed to and got out when he had to. The moment never seemed to big for him.
ATH Richard Benjamin – Started the game slow, but when a play needed to be made, he was that guy. 8 catches for 95 yards and 2 TDs.
RB Deon Thompson – Exploded in the second half. Once he got comfortable, he was hard to stop. 16 carries for 135 yards and 1 rush TD.
DL Antonio Guerad – The UCF commit was a beast. He was in the Gaither offensive backfield early and often. 2 sacks and 3 TFL