Lakers rally past Gray-New Gloucester 20-19

CODY GIBBONS rushed for 232 yards and a touchdown to lead the Lakers to a 20-19 win. LAKERS 20 PATRIOTS 19 First Downs: LR 17, GNG 10 Penalties: LR 8-65, GNG 10-70 Rushing: LR 50-296, GNG 34-147 Passing: LR 6-13-79, GNG 4-10-78 Total Yards: LR 375, GNG 225 Individual rushing: LR, Cody Gibbons 28-232, Cole Jakobs 1-2, Donovan Eaton 5-2, Luke Porter 1-13, Gunnar Harriman 6-15, Erik Christensen 2-2, Douglas Banks 2-14, Lexus Rodriguez 5-16; GNG, Adam Dumas 8-26, Sam Johnson 6-58, David Chanlatte 10-29, Zack Haskell 8-37, Zack Terrell 1-0, Brandon Thibeault 1-(3) Receiving: LR, Quinn Piland 3-27, Nick Wandishin 2-33, Nick Hall 1-19; GNG Justin McKenna 2-58, Sam Johnson 1-8, David Chanlatte 1-12 Tackles (solo, assist, total): LR, Dakota Stover 1-0-1, RJ  Legere 1-0-1, Dan Neault 1-1-2, Cody Gibbons 6-0-6, Erik Christensen 1-1-2, Donovan Eaton 4-3-7, Cam Harriman 4-0-4, Jay Justison 3-3-6, Paco Casillo 0-3-3, Ben Roakes 0-1-1, Sean Edwards 2-1-3, Gunnar Harriman 2-3-5, Quinn Piland 1-1-2,  Nolan Abrams 0-2-2

CODY GIBBONS rushed for 232 yards and a touchdown to lead the Lakers to a 20-19 win.
LAKERS 20
PATRIOTS 19
First Downs: LR 17, GNG 10
Penalties: LR 8-65, GNG 10-70
Rushing: LR 50-296, GNG 34-147
Passing: LR 6-13-79, GNG 4-10-78
Total Yards: LR 375, GNG 225
Individual rushing: LR, Cody Gibbons 28-232, Cole Jakobs 1-2, Donovan Eaton 5-2, Luke Porter 1-13, Gunnar Harriman 6-15, Erik Christensen 2-2, Douglas Banks 2-14, Lexus Rodriguez 5-16; GNG, Adam Dumas 8-26, Sam Johnson 6-58, David Chanlatte 10-29, Zack Haskell 8-37, Zack Terrell 1-0, Brandon Thibeault 1-(3)
Receiving: LR, Quinn Piland 3-27, Nick Wandishin 2-33, Nick Hall 1-19; GNG Justin McKenna 2-58, Sam Johnson 1-8, David Chanlatte 1-12
Tackles (solo, assist, total): LR, Dakota Stover 1-0-1, RJ Legere 1-0-1, Dan Neault 1-1-2, Cody Gibbons 6-0-6, Erik Christensen 1-1-2, Donovan Eaton 4-3-7, Cam Harriman 4-0-4, Jay Justison 3-3-6, Paco Casillo 0-3-3, Ben Roakes 0-1-1, Sean Edwards 2-1-3, Gunnar Harriman 2-3-5, Quinn Piland 1-1-2, Nolan Abrams 0-2-2

 

GRAY — The pieces to the Lake Region puzzle are starting to come together — and producing victories on the gridiron.

With the Lakers able to pressure the Gray-New Gloucester defense through the air, senior running back Cody Gibbons had a career night Friday. The bulldozer back rushed for 232 yards on 28 carries, and scored the game winner from 12 yards out with 8:16 left in the fourth quarter to lead LR to a thrilling 20-19 victory.

The win evened the Lakers’ record at 2-2, while spoiling the Patriots’ Homecoming as GNG fell to 0-4.

Gibbons put on a show. He chugged ahead for tough yards to gain important first downs, while also showing a quick burst leading to runs of 41, 35 and 26 yards.

“Cody is just amazing. He is the type of kid that if you say, ‘I need three yards,’ I don’t care what play you give him, he will go out and get those three yards. He is just an amazing, young man. Wonderful character. He is an absolute pleasure to coach,” Laker Coach Brian Jahna said. “It’s amazing to watch him play.”

Gibbons found some running lanes because the LR offensive line — Brian Brooks, Dan Neault, Paul Angelone, Paco Casillo, Nolan Abrams and others — played with more and more swagger as the night went along.

“We had a great week of practice, but for some reason, we came out a bit discombobulated. We overcame some silly stuff in the first half, which led to two of their scores,” Coach Jahna said. “We started to come off the ball better in the second half. It’s a matter of belief, knowing you can, having some confidence. Sometimes, it takes us some time to get that confidence and get going. Each time we have some success, we’ll get more and more confident in our abilities.”

Another big key was the LR passing game. With rookie Douglas Banks tossing two first half touchdown passes of 11 and 9 yards to junior Quinn Piland, the Patriots no longer could stack “the box.”

“As soon as we started throwing the ball, you could see things opening up in the running game,” Coach Jahna said. “It makes all the difference in the world when you can stretch the field, and then open up the outside runs.”

After two starts at quarterback, Piland shifted back to his original position as a wide receiver, and it paid off.

“We thought it was just a more natural position for Quinn, and he is very comfortable out there. He’s taken the switch fine. I talked him into playing quarterback to help the team. He gave it a shot.  I am thankful he stepped in for as long as he did. It makes a huge difference having Quinn and Nick (Wandishin) as threats on the outside,” Coach Jahna said. “We have two young quarterbacks who are still learning the finer points of the offense. We were shell shocked at first because of the interception (which went for a touchdown), but then settled in. Douglas did a real nice job looking Quinn off and then going back to him for a touchdown. He played with a lot of composure for just a sophomore, who is getting his shot at playing.”

UPENDED — Lake Region defensive back Cam Harriman upends Gray-NG receiver Justin McKenna. (Rivet Photos)

UPENDED — Lake Region defensive back Cam Harriman upends Gray-NG receiver Justin McKenna. (Rivet Photos)

Banks had a tough start. His first passing attempt was intercepted by Patriot linebacker Adam Dumas, who returned the ball 30 yards for a touchdown with 8:40 left in the first quarter. Banks was hit as he attempted the throw.

Down 7-0, the Lakers pounded the ball at the Patriot defense with Gibbons keeping the drive alive with a 12-yard gain on 3rd-and-11. He then put the Lakers in scoring position with a 41-yard scamper to the GNG-21. On second down, Banks dropped back, looked left and came back right to find Piland all alone for a touchdown.

“Good read, good finish,” Coach Jahna said.

An emerging weapon is sophomore kicker Marcus Devoe, who booted two extra-points, which ended up as the margin of victory.

The Patriots found the same formula worked for them as Dumas gained 14 yards off tackle, opening the door for sophomore quarterback Zack Haskell to sling a 34-yard strike to senior receiver Justin McKenna for a touchdown with 1:24 left in the first quarter. Nicholas Correa’s PAT pass fell incomplete.

The Lakers had a chance to pin the Patriots deep in their own end when Devoe boomed a high punt, which bounced and rolled inside the GNG-5. But, a false start penalty erased the kick. The next punt was fielded, and Gray took over at their own 31. But, the LR defense was stout, led by Gibbons and linebacker Jay Justison, holding the Pats to three plays and a punt.

Lake Region tied the game with 2:40 until halftime as Banks hooked up with Piland, completing a nine-play, 62-yard drive, keyed by a 35 yard Gibbons burst. A high snap disrupted the PAT timing, resulting in Devoe pushing the ball wide right.

Tied at 13-13, the Lakers had a chance to take the lead when Gibbons recovered a fumble at the GNG-43 with 1:28 left. Banks connected with Nick Wandishin on a leaping catch along the sideline, good for 17 yards. Having burned their timeouts early in the half, the Lakers were forced to spike the ball to stop the clock. Gray brought the heat, and hit Banks as he attempted to throw, causing an incompletion. Two penalties (false start and a delay) pushed the Lakers back to the GNG-35. Hoping to catch the Pats off guard, Gibbons tried a run on fourth down, but gained half the yards needed. Gray took a knee to end the half.

Speedster Sam Johnson sparked the Patriots’ opening drive of the second half with runs of 26 and 19 yards to put the ball at the LR-13. The Patriots overcame two penalties, scoring on third down as Haskell found David Chanlatte for a 12-yard TD strike. Chanlatte’s extra-point run fell just short.

A Laker drive ended on a fumble late in the third quarter.

DONOVAN EATON makes a tackle for the Lakers.

DONOVAN EATON makes a tackle for the Lakers.

After the Lakers took a 20-19 lead, the LR defense held as Justison and lineman Dan Neault made a big stick on third down. The Pats had a shot to keep the drive alive, but a wide-open Johnson dropped a pass along the sideline.

Lake Region milked the clock, grinding it out from their own 32 to the GNG-14, in the process running off four precious minutes. Banks made a nice fake handoff inside and bolted to the outside for 12 yards on third down, gaining the Lakers a fresh pair of plays. Then, the Pats received a steady dose of the G-Train. With good surges up front, Gibbons plowed ahead for gains of 7, 17 and 6 yards. Gray was forced to burn all three of their timeouts. LR had a chance to ice the game, but were stymied twice in their attempt to gain one yard for a first down.

LR brought the heat, and forced the Patriot offensive line into a holding call.

“We knew they needed to put the ball in the air because time was running down, so we we were able to put some pressure on their quarterback,” Coach Jahna said.

An aggressive hit on a pass over the middle from Haskell to McKenna broke up the connection, but LR was whistled for interference, giving the Pats a new set of downs with 18.9 seconds left.

LR linemen Nolan Abrams and “Paco” Casillo hurried Haskell into an errant throw, and Abram combined with Dakota Stover for a game-ending tackle at the GNG-20.

“You look at records and it is easy to dismiss teams. Gray is a good team, extremely well-coached, very disciplined, great group of kids. The fact our kids played hard for four quarters says a lot about our guys as well,” Coach Jahna said. “Our winning drive was Laker football. We just need to be more consistent.”

Next: The Lakers (2-2) will be under pressure Friday night at home when Leavitt rolls into Naples. The Hornets are 4-0, and a top contender, putting on major whippings the last two weeks — 52-0 over Gray-NG and 62-0 over Poland. The Hornets passed two early tough tests, beating Cape Elizabeth 26-7 and Yarmouth 14-7. Game time is 7 p.m.

“We’ll give it our best effort and see what happens,” Coach Jahna said.

Please follow and like us: