The Italy Junior High and Junior Varsity football squads traveled to Dallas to take on Red Oak Life Thursday. Without one of their own, ROL shares the Dallas Life School’s football field. The location was of no concern to the younger Gladiators who will play anytime, anywhere…
Both Italy’s and ROL’s Junior High teams battled first and the game quickly turned south for the Gladiators as Red Oak Life scored early and often.
There may not have been any scoring plays to brag about for Italy’s JH Gladiators (0-1) but there were plenty of big plays and solid efforts worth mentioning.
Jaray Anderson had a breakout game including a long kickoff return and a touchdown saving tackle. Defensive tackle John Byers recorded a sack and made two tackles downfield after the pass had been completed. Defensive lineman Kelton Bales had a solo tackle in the Mustang backfield and linebacker Lance Peck had a strong defensive outing including a fumble recovery to foil a 2-point conversion attempt by the Mustangs.
Also notable plays on defense were turned in by Coby Bland, who slammed a Mustang runner short of the goal line on one play, Colton Petrey, who is as hard hitting as they come, and cornerback Chace McGinnis who sures up the left side of Italy’s defense with speed and tenacious tackling.
Ryan Connor handled the majority of snaps at quarterback and backs Cody Boyd, Peck and Bland did their best to gain yards against the Mustangs’ enthusiastic defense. But in the end, it was the Mustangs who ran wild over the young Gladiators 30-0.
The Junior Varsity game:
The Italy JV Gladiators (3-1) faired well against the Mustangs. Mike Clark took the opening kickoff 52-yards all the way to ROL’s 13-yard line to set the tone for the game. Quarterback Tony Wooldridge completed his first of two touchdown passes to Trevon Robertson, and later, a 2-point conversion to Eric Carson.
Chase Hamilton scored three touchdowns by land including 58-yard gallop with help from his downfield blocker, receiver Dominic Wilson.
Justin Wood added a 47-yard touchdown run late in the fourth, followed by a Hamilton 2-point conversion run to complete the Gladiators’ 40-point scoring night to just 14-points by the Mustangs.
Defensively, the JV Gladiators kept the Mustangs penned on their side of the field for a majority of the game. Noseguard Hank Seabolt detoured the Mustangs’ coaching staff from testing the middle and likely has the ROL center rethinking his career choice. Also helping Seabolt control the line of scrimmage were Jake Escamilla who had a tackle in the backfiled, Kevin Roldan, Adrian Reed, Darol Mayberry, Zain Byers who saw his first action after being sidelined with injuries and Bailey Walton who’s size and speed also makes him a key component on the JVs special teams.
Deiondre Cockran and Zackery Boykin combined to tackle ROL’s punter near the Mustangs’ endzone and Cody Medrano continues to make tackle after tackle for the Gladiators. Backers Wooldridge, Hamilton and ends Medrano and Paul Harris handled any trick the ponies ran at them and Robertson and Carson, the safeties, have the hands to pick off a pass and the footwork to find the endzone.
The Italy Junior High Cheerleaders did a nice job themselves keeping Gladiator fans who made the trek to Dallas entertained and even tossed miniature Gladiator footballs into the crowd.
Meet the Italy JH Cheerleaders:
- Brit Chambers
- Sarah Coleman
- Bailey DeBorde
- K’Breona Davis
- Amber Hooker
- Ashlyn Jacinto
- Kelsey Nelson
- Halee Turner
- Hannah Washington
- Madison Washington