Gilbert may have owned the first half at Leonard Price Field on Friday night, but Airport made it interesting in the fourth quarter.
Down 27-13 with 7 minutes to go, the Eagles executed a 10-play, 65-yard drive capped with a Josh Goodman TD run with 4:59 left. Haden Rimer’s extra-point attempt went wide left, and the Indians clung to an eight-point lead.
Cody Temples ensured that the Eagles would not get the ball back.
The Indians running back led a clock-sapping drive that enabled Gilbert to close out a 27- 19 victory over the Eagles that was punctuated with several injuries.
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“It got tough right there,” Gilbert coach Chad Leaphart said. “We got a couple of offensive linemen down, it starts getting tough up there. They’ve got a real good defensive line, but I’m proud of our guys for battling through that, getting the first downs, running the clock out, that was huge.”
Temples had 96 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries for Gilbert (3-1).
Gilbert started off outside its own 40-yard line on each of its first three possessions and worked quickly.
While their first series ended without a first down, the Indians jumped into action on two quick running drives. Ty Walker’s 7-yard TD and Josh Strickland’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Matt Reed closed out the next two drives and gave the Indians a 13-0 lead.
Walker later went down with a shoulder injury.
“He started off on fire tonight, he’s a kid who’s gotten better each week,” Leaphart said. “Then got some bad luck and gets hurt.”
The Gilbert defense stuffed the Eagles (2-2) in the first quarter. Airport started moving the ball in the second quarter with an option attack led by quarterback Brandon Caughman.
Temples’ touchdown came between a pair of Airport field goals. Placekicker Haden Rimer made good on attempts of 32 and 43 yards.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED
1. Airport has better ball control than it did two weeks ago. The Eagles had four fumbles and two interceptions against Brookland-Cayce, but had no drops or picks at Gilbert.
2. Everybody in a Gilbert jersey can run. The Gilbert offense had eight rushers combine for 48 carries and 307 net yards on the ground.
3. Darius Bell set the tone on defense in the first half. The weakside defensive end recorded two tackles and a sack for Gilbert on the first series. He finished the night with four stops.
HOW THEY SCORED
G – Ty Walker 7 run (Rajan Cheema kick) 6:52
G – Matt Reed 5 pass from Josh Strickland (kick failed) 11:55
A – Haden Rimer 32 field goal 6:43
G – Cody Temples 1 run (Wells Sykes kick) 3:15
A – Rimer 43 field goal :02
G – Dre Harris 29 pass from Strickland (Sykes kick) 7:04
A – Brandon Caughman 25 run (Rimer kick) 2:15
A – Josh Goodman 1 run (kick failed) 4:59
Rushing: A:. Dwayne Lewis 14-20, Brandon Caughman 10-63, Jaylon Pugh 10-73, Josh Goodman 1-1. G: Cody Temples 15-96, Ty Walker 4-47, Wells Sykes 2-13, Josh Strickland 5-29, Dre Cook 13-70, Matt Reed 1-6, Dre Harris 1-3, Jy Tolen 6-36.
Passing: A: Brandon Caughman 5-11-0-61. G: Josh Strickland 7-12-0-48.
Receiving: A: Emari Meledor 1-14. G: Jacob Smith 1-7, Matt Reed 1-5, Wells Sykes 1- (-2), Dre Harris 4-38.