The Class 3A No. 4 Gilbert football team couldn’t shake a pesky Dreher squad at Memorial Stadium on Friday night.
But whenever the Indians needed a play, wide receiver Manny Bright was there to provide.
After the Blue Devils tied things up on the final play of the third quarter, the shifty, 5-foot-9, 134-pound senior caught a 28-yards pass to help set up a score and then iced the game with a 71-yard punt return, his fourth touchdown of the night, in a 48-34 win to keep the Indians (5-0) unblemished going into region play.
“I didn’t want to lose this game,” Bright said. “I really didn’t. So deep down inside me, I had to dig down and fight.”
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Dreher (3-2) had used a interception return for a score and a pair of fumble recoveries to rally from down 14 in the third quarter.
Bright: Dreher could never get a hold of him, as he caught 13 balls for 289 yards and added the special teams score. He had five catches of 20 or more yards.
Jay Washington, RB, Dreher: The senior kept his squad in the game with 165 yards and two touch downs on 23 carries, plus a fumble recovery on defense.
264: Gilbert’s yardage advantage in the first half. The Indians could only turn out-gaining the Blue Devils 339-75 into a 14-point lead.
75: Penalty yards for Gilbert on nine infractions, which helped keep the hosts in the game
THEY SAID IT
“We’ve got a team that’s got a lot of heart. Guys that like to compete, and they’re going to play hard. We were a couple plays away from beating a really good team. Hats off to Gilbert.” – Treigh Sullivan, Dreher coach
“This was a dogfight, and we really haven’t been in one of those, so I’m proud how our kids responded in that pressure situation.” – Chad Leaphart, Gilbert coach
HOW THEY SCORED
G – Temples 4 run (Watson kick), 7:40
G – Temples 17 run (Watson kick), 3:27
D – J. Washington 18 run (Myrick kick), 10:46
G – Bright 61 pass from Tolen (Kick blocked), 9:47
D – Dingle 53 interception return (Kick failed), 1:28
G – Bright 29 pass from Tolen (Watson kick), 0:13
D – Clarke 4 run (Myrick kick), 8:58
G – Bright 55 pass from Strickland (Watson kick), 6:25
D – Parr 50 pass from Mullinax (Myrick kick), 2:50
D – J. Washington 38 run (Myrick kick), 0:00
G – Temples 21 run (Watson kick), 9:28
G – Bright 71 punt return (Watson kick), 6:50
Rushing: G: Temples 9-115, Cook 19-75, Tolen 2-5, Strickland 1-1. Totals: 31-196. D: J. Washington 23-165, Sims 2-25, Clarke 2-7, Gunter 1-(-5), Dreher 1-(-3), Mullinax 10-(-32). Totals: 39-157
Passing: G: Strickland 14-19-1-212, Tolen 5-8-0-125. Totals: 19-27-1-337. D: Mullinax 7-12-0-120, Campbell 2-3-0-7. Totals: 9-15-0-127
Receiving: G: Bright 13-289, Sease 3-29, Reed 3-19. D: Parr 3-70, Dreher 3-14, J. Washington 1-22, Clarke 1-12, Gunter 1-9