Gibbon Head Football Coach Mark McLaughlin, simply one of the Best.
Gibbon overcomes Quarterback injury to defeat Bridgeport 33-8.
by Bobby Mills (1000 Yard Guy)
Gibbon - Rematches in the playoffs aren't always the best deal. Losing a quarterback who is an All-State candidate right off the bat is even worse. But when you have a head coach that is one of the best young mentors in the business and a staff to match, your team digs deep, overcomes adversity, and wins football games.
9-0 Gibbon overcame the loss of QB Bradyn Snell (knee) early in the first quarter and fought off a Bridgeport football team that resembled a college lineup in size. Backup quarterback Jaison Andrist came off the bench and ran the team like a seasoned veteran, and a reserve tailback by the name of Jacob Tracy, only a sophomore, came in and picked up the rushing slack when things got tough for 1000 yard rusher, Tanner Gideon.
Things were never secured for the Buffaloes until their stellar defense forced a couple stalled Bridgeport drives in the 4th quarter. Gibbon turned both of those into scores when Andrist fired 2 late TD passes to wrap up the 1st Round playoff victory.
The rain was a factor from the beginning of the game, just as it was for nearly every other playoff game in the state on this wet Friday. In high school football, that means most prep quarterbacks who favor the aerial game are going to find themselves neutralized and the old fashioned, double tight end, smash mouth football offense will have the advantage.
That is exactly what happened on Bridgeport's opening drive of the contest. The Bulldogs, who had thrown only 20 passes all season coming into the game, marched 68 yards down the rain soaked field to score the game's first touchdown. 6-3, 220 pound Wyatt Pankowski plunged in from the two yard line to give the Bulldogs an early 8-0 lead. The three time 1000 yard rusher ran in the 2 point conversion with 6:27 left in the first quarter. That would be the score when the opening quarter came to a close.
Gibbon's defense kicked into high gear with the 2nd quarter only 2 minutes old. The Buffaloes rushed in to block a Bridgeport punt, then recorded a team safety when a Bulldog player fell on the ball in his own end zone. Gibbon got the ball right back in great field position at the Bulldog 30 yard line and it took only 2 plays for slippery, Jacob Tracy to take it in for a 2 yard TD run. Tracy had just reeled off an exciting twisting, slithering 28 yard dash the play before. 5'3", 120 pound sophomore kicker Edhel Escandon added the PAT and the Buffaloes had their first lead of the game, 9-8.
The Buffs held again, and Tracy went to work, carrying the mail nearly every play of a long drive, culminating with a 3 yard touchdown run with 5:11 left in the 2nd. Escandon's PAT kick slithered over the crossbar again, giving Gibbon a 16-8 lead.
Gibbon mounted another drive right before halftime, but the stubborn Bridgeport defense held at their own 14 with only 44 seconds left in the half. The fearless, 120 pound Escandon calmly walked on the slippery field and snuck a 21 yard field goal over the crossbar to push the Buffalo lead to 19-8 at the halftime break.
Defenses, as expected, dominated the second half, but it was punter Coltin Brown, a 5-10, 205 pound lineman, that gave Gibbon an edge with his well placed punting. Brown sailed 3 of his punts inside the Bridgeport 20 yard line, pinning the Bulldogs in the shadow of their own goal post. That, coupled with some sacks from 6-2, 185 pound linebacker, Devin Stroh, and 175 pound LB, Cristian Tamayo, kept Bridgeport at bay, especially in the money quarter. Each player recorded 2.5 sacks in the contest.
With less than 6 minutes left in the C-2 First Round Playoff game, Gibbon still had only a 19-8 advantage. All-State wide receiver/defensive back Korbin Hynes fixed that little deal by picking off an Austin Hartman pass, bringing it back to the Bridgeport 26. One play later, Buffalo QB Jaison Andrist rolled to his right, nearly ran out of real estate, then lofted a floating pass to Devin Stroh. The junior wide receiver made a leaping, fully extended miracle catch in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown that still has my head spinning. Rock steady Edhel Escandon drilled the extra point kick, and Gibbon had a 26-8 lead with 5:30 left in the game.
Bridgeport gambled on a 4th down at their own 15 with a little more than 2 minutes left in the game, but Tamayo stuffed a Jerrod Fedorchik run and the Buffs took over at the Bridgeport 15.
Bridgeport's proud defense dug in and held Gibbon for three straight downs, forcing a 4th and 11 at the Bulldog 15. This time Andrist slipped to his left and lofted another soft pass to Korbin Hynes, who hauled in the 4th down toss for a 15 yard TD, increasing the lead to 33-8.
The win elevates Gibbon to a 10-0 mark, and gives the Buffaloes another home playoff game, a quarterfinal C-2 matchup with 9-1 Oakland-Craig next Friday. The Knights blasted 6-3 Omaha Brownell-Talbot, 40-7 in their 1st Round game. Game time for the quarterfinal contest is 7:00.
Sophomore Jacob Tracy led the Gibbon ground attack with 92 yards on 19 carries and 2 TDs. Tanner Gideon followed with 79 yards on 18 totes. Reserve quarterback, Jaison Andrist threw only 3 passes, completing two, which both went for touchdowns. Not a bad percentage for the junior. Korbin Hynes also returned 3 kickoffs for a whopping 129 yards, giving his team great field position on all three returns.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Wyatt Kee made 19 tackles, 10 were solo stops. Sophomore classmate Jacob Tracy added 14, rugged Devin Stroh chipped in 13, and Coltin Brown had 10, seven of which were solos.
For Bridgeport, Wyatt Pankowski led the rushing game with 92 yards on 20 totes and the Bulldogs only score. 1000 yard rushing fullback, Jerrod Fedorchik was held to 32 yards on 12 touches. Unofficially, Pankowski finished the season with 1,333 yards and 3,698 yards for his illustrious career. Fedorchik unofficially finished his junior year with 1,114 yards.
Bridgeport: 2 yard run by Wyatt Pankowski (Pankowski run)
Gib: Team Safety
Gib: 2 yard run by Jacob Tracy (Edhel Escandon Kick)
Gib: 3 yard run by Jacob Tracy (Edhel Escandon Kick)
Gib: 23 yard field goal by Edhel Escandon
Gib: 26 yard pass from Jaison Andrist to Devin Stroh (Edhel Escandon Kick)
Gib: 15 yard pass from Jaison Andrist to Korbin Hynes (Edhel Escandon Kick)