13 strong — Noseguard Hank Seabolt set the tone for the Italy JV Gladiators with the first two tackles of the game forcing Blooming Grove’s JV Lions to punt. On Italy’s first offensive play, quarterback Marvin Cox quickly reintroduced himself to Gladiator fans by sprinting 73-yards for the games first touchdown to give Italy the early 6-0 lead.
The backfield combination of Cox, Justin Wood and Shad Newman proved to formidable for the Lions as the trio flourished behind their offensive line which consisted of Seabolt, Colin Newman, Bailey Walton, Darol Mayberry, Kelton Bales, Kyle Fortenberry and tight end Cody Medrano. Receivers Chace McGinnis and Cody Boyd provided the downfield blocking for an Italy JV offense that was relentless in their pursuit of the goal line.
Blooming Grove had their best chance to score late in the second quarter when a pair of long passes quickly advanced the ball inside the five yard line. However, cornerback John Escamilla was Johnny-on-the-spot with back-to-back tackles on both pass plays to keep the Lions out of the endzone as the halftime buzzer sounded.
Cox and company were just as unstoppable in the second half and eventually won the game 36-0. Afterwards, Seabolt received a water cooler bath for his defensive efforts from waterboy Zain Byers.
Jr. High Game:
Italy’s Jr. High Gladiators played solid on the field but were unable to generate enough points to keep pace with the Lions on the scoreboard. Jaray Anderson scored Italy’s lone touchdown in the game as the Lions put together a 28-6 win.
Ryan Connor handled the quarterbacking duties for Italy while Joe Celis and Cameron Carter helped keep the chains moving along with Anderson. Offensive lineman Adrian Acevedo, Brandon Connor, Justin Robbins, David De La Hoya, Kenneth Norwood, Jr., Aaron Latimer, Elliot Worsham and twin towers, Aaron and Austin Pittmon, have the numbers and the size to be one of Italy’s best offensive lines ever assembled.
Experienced skill backs and receivers such as Levi McBride, Ty Windham, Darren Cisneros, Mason Womack, Fabian Cortez, Kevin Johnson, Dylan McCassland, Jorge Galvan and Chasston King have allowed Italy’s coaching staff to open the playbook and run gadget plays such as the hook-and-ladder and yard gaining reverses. Throw Hunter Ballard, Michael Hughes, Carl Jaynes, Eli Garcia and James Walton into the mix and the future looks good indeed for Italy.