ITALY – Thanks to two touchdown passes from Jasenio Anderson to John Isaac. Italy jumped out to a 14-0 lead against the Frost Polar Bears by the end of the 1st quarter.
At the 11:00 mark of the 2nd period, Anderson and Isaac connected again from 33-yards out but the score was nulified due to a roughness penalty on the Gladiators. Anderson decided to take it in himself on the next play to make the score 18-0 with 10:54 left in the 1st half.
After a squib kick by Italy, Frost was facing a 3rd down and 8 when Bobby Wilson got pressure on the Frost quarterback to force an incomplete pass. Frost was stuffed on their 4th down attempt giving the ball back to the Gladiators.
On Italy’s second play, Frost picked off a pass and advanced the ball to Italy’s 35-yard line with 6:35 left. Frost fumbled on their next offensive play and Italy’s Isaac recovered it at the Italy 23-yard line with 5:15 remaining before halftime.
Anderson ran the ball to the 42-yard line for a 1st down, and then on 2nd and 10, completed a pass to the Frost 45-yard line. Anderson kept the ball again and 13-yards down to the Frost 32-yard line.
On the next play, Anderson pitched to Justin Hayes who sprinted left untouched for 32-yards and another Gladiator touchdown. Anderson’s PAT kick was good and Italy was well in front 27-0, 3:57 to go until halftime.
On the kickoff to Frost, Italy’s Heath Clemons delivered the hit of the year thus far when he jolted the ball loose from the Frost return man. The ball flew through the air in the direction of the Italy coverage team who recovered the ball at Italy’s 47-yard line.
On 2nd down and 10, Anderson threw 31-yards to Isaac for Isaac’s 3rd touchdown catch in the 1st half with 2:27 remaining. The PAT by Anderson was on target again and Italy took a 34-0 lead into the break.
During halftime, the Italy High School, Gladiator Regiment Band, performed in full costume for the Italy Homecoming crowd. The drum section matched the efforts of the Gladiators in the 1st half as they pounded out a beat of champions under the direction of Jesus Perez.
The Senior Homecoming Queen nominees were: Meagan Hopkins, Lexie Miller, Courtney Westbrook and Drew Windham.
The Homecoming Princesses were: Junior Shelbi Gilley, Sophomore Kaitlyn Rossa, Freshman Sierra Harris and Freshman Jameka Copeland.
Drew Windham, escorted by her father Joe Windham, was crowned the 2009 Homecoming Queen following in the high heels of her mother, and current IHS teacher and coach Andrea Windham, and Drew’s aunt, Alison Janek.
The 2009 Homecoming King nominees were: Aaron Thomas, Dan Crownover, Ivan Roldan, Oscar Gonzalez and Ross Enriquez with Oscar Gonzalez being named the 2009 Homecoming King.
With 8:55 left in the 3rd quarter, Italy’s Kyle Wilkins ran right for yet another Gladiator score. The PAT kick by Anderson counted, and Italy was now on cruise control with a 41-0 lead.
Coach Bales began substituting his roster and rearranging players to take some of the heat off the Polar Bears. Even with good intentions, backup quarterback, Heath Clemons, completed an 11-yard pass to Isaac for one last Gladiator touchdown. The reception was Isaac’s 4th touchdown catch on the night. Anderson’s PAT kick went through the uprights giving Italy a 48-0 lead.
Frost avoided the shutout when, at the 5:33 mark in the 3rd, the Polar Bears were able to score a touchdown. The PAT crossed the bar and the game ended with the Gladiators 1-0 in district play, 48-7.
The Gladiators have a Bye this week but will face Axtell, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Axtell.