By Lori Cathey
Gibson County picked up its first region win and improved to 2-1 on the season with a 39-0 shutout at Halls last week.
The Pioneers totaled 266 yards of offense with a balanced attack of 122 rushing yards and 144 passing yards with 20 first downs. Running back Hayden McGuire was named the Offensive Player of the Week. He ran for 125 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Jake Patterson was named the Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week. He had eight tackles, two sacks, one interception and a blocked punt and recovery for a 41-yard touchdown.
On Halls’ first possession of the game, the Gibson County defense showed up big time, forcing Halls to punt the ball after running only three plays. Patterson jumped up and blocked the ensuing punt and returned it for a 41-yard touchdown to give the Pioneers an early 6-0 lead.
On Halls’ next possession, with the Tigers facing third-and-8, Patterson intercepted a pass at the 49-yard line and returned to the 21. The Pioneers were unable to score.
The Pioneers opened the second quarter Adam Smithson’s 49-yard pass to Will Cantrell. The 2-point conversion failed, but the Pioneers extended their lead to 12-0.
The Pioneers’ defense forced another Halls, and Junior McMullins made a nice tackle on fourth down after a bad snap. The Pioneers wasted no time and scored on a 4-yard run for a touchdown thanks to McGuire’s three consecutive runs. Smithson completed a pass to Colton Lumpkin for the 2-point conversion, and Gibson County led to 20-0 with 7:40 left in the quarter.
Halls fumbled on its next possession, and Kaleb Johnson recovered the ball at the 41-yard line and returned it to the 33. Two plays later, the Gibson County offensive line opened up a hole for McGuire to run up the middle for a 29-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, and Gibson County led 26-0 at the half.
Neither team was able to score in the third quarter. On Gibson County’s opening drive of the fourth quarter, Smithson connected with Lumpkin on a 69-yard pass for a touchdown. Kicker Hayden Crandall’s extra point was good to make it 33-0.
For the Pioneers’ final score, John Carter Phillips recovered a Halls fumble at the 20-yard line. One play later, McGuire scored on a 20-yard run for the game final 39-0 score.
Leading in offense were Lumpkin with two receptions for 75 yards and touchdown; Cantrell with three receptions for 69 yards and touchdown; Smithson 5-12 for 144 yards with two touchdowns and two carries for 4 yards; Austin Fletcher with two carries for 3 yards; and Wyatt Hollis with one kickoff return for 17 yards. Crandall was 1-3 on extra points and had two punts for 62 yards.
Leading defensively were Kaleb Johnson and Phillips; each had six tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Ethan Ward had four tackles; Darius Allen, Fletcher and Hayden Stallings with three tackles each; McMullins, Kyleland Johnson, Hollis with two tackles each; DeAndre Snow, Lumpkin, Smithson and Crandall with one tackle each; and Will Cantrell with an interception.
Gibson County will host Sheffield Friday at 7 p.m. It will also be Gibson County’s homecoming, and the presentations will be at 6:30 on the football field.