Behind a new quarterback, a powerful rushing game, and a strong defense, Gilbert was able to pick up its first victory of the season on Friday, defeating Dobson 31-13.
“With all the adversity we’ve gone through, the injuries and everything, it feels really good to finally get everything going in the right direction,” Gilbert coach Tim Rutt said. “We just told the kids that we got to believe. We got to keep getting after it; we’ve got to keep positive and just don’t give up. That’s what we showed tonight.”
Due to disciplinary reasons, the Tigers (1-4) were forced to give sophomore Dane Stankiewicz his first career start. Thanks to a running game that overpowered the Mustangs (2-3) for 300 yards on the night, Stankiewicz wasn’t forced to do much. Dylon Gillette gained 157 yards and scored two touchdowns on 26 carries while Bailey Moore added 75 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
“The last two games we’ve ran the ball really well,” Rutt said. “We’ve had almost 300 yards rushing the last two games. The blocking has been great. The offensive line has been our strength. Gillette and Bailey both ran hard.”
After a close first half, the Gilbert defense came out and totally neutralized the Mustangs' offense in the second half and came up with huge turnovers that the offense was then able to convert into points. The Tigers intercepted Dobson three times in the second half and forced four turnovers in all.
The big play of the game was the first interception Gilbert came up with. Late in the third quarter, Mustangs' quarterback Nick Riddle dropped back to pass and was swallowed up by the Tigers' pass rush. While going down, Riddle tried to throw the ball away and avoid the sack. Unfortunately for Riddle, the pass ended up right in the arms of Gilbert linebacker Chase Cahalan. To make matters worse for Dobson, Riddle was injured on the play and was unable to return.
The Tigers took over possession deep in Mustangs' territory and were able to score on a fourth and goal run by Bailey to extend their lead to 24-13. Gilbert again forced an interception on Dobson’s next drive, this one thrown by backup quarterback Josh Jaramillo. This turnover was also converted into points by the Tigers offense when Gillette scored to give Gilbert a dominant 31-13 lead.
“We’ve always played the pass really well,” Rutt said. “That’s been our strength. Just great coverage. We work a lot on our secondary on their routes and where they are going to be. They jumped them and were able to get some pressure on the quarterback, which always helps.”
Dobson coach George De La Torre thought his team shot itself in the foot and blamed the loss on those struggles.
“We told our team they couldn’t sputter. They have to be consistent and they have to play pitch perfect all the time. We don’t have any great superstars and that means we have to run things perfect every single time. So any time we fumble like we did, or miss a block, or get a penalty we’re now looking at longer yardage. And we can’t do that. It’s not whether a team beats us, but we end up beating ourselves,” he said.
Gilbert 31, Dobson 13
First Downs: Gilbert 21, Dobson 12
Rushing: Gilbert 42-247, Dobson 28-166
Passing (comp.-att.-TD-INT): Gilbert 9-20-110-1-1, Dobson 9-17-140-2-3
Fumbles-Lost: Gilbert 0-0, Dobson 1-1
Penalties-yards: Gilbert 6-70, Dobson 9-53
Gilbert 7 10 0 14- 31
Dobson 6 7 0 0 – 13
Dobson: Chatman 27 pass from Riddle (kick failed)
Gilbert: Maes 75 pass from Stankiewicz (Carver kick)
Gilbert: Carver 21 FG
Gilbert: Gillette 4 run (Carver kick)
Dobson: Ford 64 pass from Riddle (Reyes kick)
Gilbert: Bailey 2 run (Carver kick)
Gilbert: Gillette 3 run (Carver kick)