Gehrke, Williams boost Notre Dame in second-half romp - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Gehrke, Williams boost Notre Dame in second-half romp

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Posted: Friday, October 14, 2011 11:51 pm | Updated: 9:54 pm, Sat Oct 15, 2011.

He let a few balls through on defense, and his team struggled.

But, when the ball fell in Maurice White's hands on the second-half kickoff he jumped, glided and danced his way to an 80-yard touchdown.

His team never looked back.

After entering halftime in a tie, the Saints rode White's touchdown and scored 27 straight points for a 41-14 win against Cactus Shadows on Friday night.

"I let up few passes," White said. "But, I just wanted the ball in my hands to be a playmaker for my team."

The Saints' defense didn't let the offense hog the spotlight, as it held the Falcons to 91 yards of total offense in the second half. This was after Cactus Shadows posted 253 yards of total offense in the first half.

It was Notre Dame's fourth victory in five games since coach Scot Bemis took an indefinite leave of absence to deal with malignant tumors in his elbow.

"Rather than give them some big, heart-filled speech and tell them what we're playing for, what we're trying to accomplish, I gave them more of a ‘This is Notre Dame football, in honor of ourselves, and Coach Bemis, let's go out and play that way,'" interim coach Gary Gregory said. "The kids responded on their own."

Notre Dame (4-4) grinded its way to three unanswered touchdowns after White's score. After a failed fake punt, the Saints capped a five-play drive with a 3-yard pass from Jordan Gehrke to Andrew Thomas.

"Jordan's really shown his leadership through some tough times this year, and he really made that pay off," Gregory said. "We needed some plays, and he sure stepped up and made them."

Gehrke finished the night 16-for-27 passing with three touchdowns and one interception, but connected with 10 different receivers for 232 yards. His most frequent target in the end zone was Hunter Bross, who finished with touchdown catches of 20 and 9 yards.

"Hunter Bross. Two touchdowns. sophomore. He's just doing great for our offense," White said.

Cactus Shadows (2-6) struck first in the game, when Bryce Kinsler dropped a bomb to Connor Cozen for a 92-yard touchdown. Notre Dame answered that with a 3-yard run by Luke Tafurri on the following drive.

After Kinsler followed that with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Cozen, Gehrke led a 61-yard drive in less than a minute for the final score of the half, culminating in that 20-yard pass to Bross.

"To seize the momentum (in the second half) was a big deal," Gregory said. "We talked about coming out of the locker room and having a big drive and scoring a touchdown ... We could do some different things on defense when Mo gave us the lead."


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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]