Gaston shuts out Westbrook 26-0


Westbrook’s Dalvin Lewis pursues Gaston’s Jordan Douglas as he rolls out of the pocket during Friday’s game on the Bulldogs’ campus north of Gadsden. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)


 

Gaston football coach Swane Morris likes to tell his defense that each player represents a single brick in a house.

They each fit into a gap, and together, they build a strong unit.

 

Friday night, what they built looked more like a brick wall — especially against the run.

The Gaston Bulldogs rolled to a 26-0 win over Class 2A, Region 7 rival Westbrook Christian in The Gadsden Times’ Game of the Week. The Bulldogs (4-2, 2-2) dominated on defense, constantly bringing Westbrook players down for negative plays. The Warriors (3-3, 2-2) were held to negative-29 yards rushing, five three-and-outs and reached the red zone only once.

“I was so proud of them,” Morris said of his defense. “I told the kids before the game started, ‘You’re as prepared as you’ve ever been.’ It seems like we responded all week to our gameplan, and everything sort of went in line when the game started.”

 

Gaston rolled up 332 yards on the ground. The Bulldogs were led by the speedy Jailyn Britton, who rushed 14 times for 130 yards and a touchdown.

“Jailyn, he always seems to run enough,” Morris said. “Somebody asked me how fast he was, and I said he’s fast enough. He just seems to be able to stay ahead of people, and he had a heck of a game tonight.”

Shai Ogles rushed for 90 yards and a score, while workhorse Braxton Collins ran 16 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

For the Warriors, freshman quarterback Wil Appleton completed 15 of 32 passes for 205 yards and an interception, which Ogles made in the game’s closing moments to secure the shutout.

Appleton was harassed most of the night when he dropped back to pass, being dragged down six times for sacks.

“You have to give (Gaston) credit,” Westbrook coach Tony Osborne said. “They played with a lot of energy and a lot of passion. 

“They played extremely hard. 

“I said this week they’re probably one of the more talented teams in the region, maybe the most talented. But we knew that coming in. We’re lacking in some areas, but we’re going to look at the film and try to get better and take it one week at a time.”

While the game turned into a rout, it was a defensive struggle into the third quarter.

Gaston was able to cash in on a first quarter scoring opportunity. Collins broke free for a 20-yard touchdown run to cap an eight-play, 60-yard drive.

The Bulldogs made the touchdown stand the rest of the first half and took a 7-0 lead into the locker room. Gaston looked to score just before the half, crossing midfield with a little more than a minute remaining. But Westbrook’s Stephen Blackstock intercepted a Jordan Douglas pass at the 10-yard line to thwart the threat.

The Bulldogs went up 13-0 on Britton’s 6-yard run at the 8:02 mark of the third quarter, and Collins’ second touchdown of the night with 1:54 remaining in the third made it 19-0.

Ogles’ score came on an 11-yard run with 8:03 remaining in the game.