GLADEWATER – Gladewater’s defense held down Center, and Malachi Gordon ran for 202 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bears to a 15-14 victory over the Roughriders at Jack V. Murphy-Bear Stadium.
The Bears (1-1) only allowed a touchdown on Center’s first offensive possession. They forced four punts and Trevor Hollins intercepted a pass, which prevented the Roughriders from getting a go-ahead score with five minutes left in the game.
The Bears were able to run off the clock with an 85-yard drive.
Gladewater outgained Center 496-161, but was only able to score on two drives. Three turnovers and three turnovers on downs stymied the Bears’ offense which drove into Center’s side of the field. Zach Polanco followed Gordon with 62 yards on seven carries.
The Bears played two quarterbacks with Kolin Lewis starting and Kyron Wilson playing most of the second half. Lewis completed six passes for 104 yards and rushed for 17 yards. Wilson ran for seven yards and completed two passes for 27 yards.
The Roughriders (0-3) took over at its own 12 with 9:50 left in the game. Penalties put Center in a third-and-19 at its own three. Quarterback Emonte Cross rushed down the sideline for a 47-yard gain. Kaden Dixon rushed down the opposite sideline for a 50-yard touchdown but it was called back for holding. A personal foul against Gladewater, gave Center new life as it had first-and-10 at the Gladewater 44. On third-and-seven, Hollins ended the rally with his interception.
The defenses played strong in the first half. Gladewater forced two punts and sacked Cross twice with Austin Verner and Zach Polanco making the stops. It recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff.
Center recovered a fumble on Gladewater’s opening possession. It stopped a 37-yard drive in the first half with Christopher Evans intercepting a pass in the end zone. At the end of the first half, it prevented Gladewater from doubling up with a turnover on downs. Evans intercepted a second pass in the third quarter.
The Roughriders took advantage of Gladewater’s first turnover with Cross capping off a six-play 66-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. The Bears answered with a 10-play 70-yard drive which ended with a five-yard run by G’Braylon Polly. Kolin Lewis ran for a two-point conversion to put Gladewater ahead.
Gordon capped off a 91-yard drive with a nine-yard run to extend Gladewater’s advantage. Da’nijhalon Gipson made up for his miscue on the opening kickoff with a 72-yard kickoff return for a touchdown which pulled Center within one in the second quarter.
Gladewater will host Kilgore next week. Center hosts Tatum.