Blue Devils fall to Gators 55-42

Published 11:02 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

Pearl River Central’s Blue Devils fell to the Gautier Gators Friday night, 55-42 in a back and forth battle that almost went into overtime.

The Blue Devils showed a lot of fight Friday night in the tough loss to the Gators, but could not pull out the win in the team’s second to last game of the season.

The Blue Devils took the lead in the first quarter when Dalton Lee connected with a touchdown pass to B.J. Bellelo from the 12 yard line. All of Tyler Diebold’s PATs fell in between the goal posts for the night. With the score at 7-0 with 1:19 left in the first quarter, the Blue Devils held the lead.

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Gautier tied the game in the second quarter when Kaden Irving connected a pass to Aaron Phillips from about 30 yards out. Romario Lopez connected on the PAT putting the score at 7-7 with 3:02 left before halftime.

The Blue Devils took the lead for the last time on the night when Lee connected on a pass from the 27 yard line to Makade Penton, who toted the ball to pay dirt with 1:21 left before the half.

The Gators scored two more times before the break, once with 27 seconds left when Irving ran the ball in from the 10 yard line, and again as the clock struck zero when Irving completed a pass to Darrell Ray at the 50 yard line. Lopez’s PAT attempt fell wide, putting the score at 20-14 going into the halftime.

Gautier widened the lead in the third quarter when Marcus Cunningham ran the ball in from the 2 yard line.

This time, the Gators conducted a two point conversion when Irving completed a pass to Ayden Morgan, putting the score at 28-14 with 10:36 left in the third.  Another Gator touchdown occurred with 6:54 left in the third when Irving completed a pass to Phillips from the 34 yard line. This time Maurice Gregory stepped in for the PAT, putting the score at 35-14.  Pearl River Central began to close the gap with 4:24 left in the  third when through five plays the team covered more than 70 yards to put the ball at the Gautier six yard line. This time Xion Lockhart completed a pass to Lee for a touchdown, putting the score at 35-21.

In the fourth quarter the Devils closed the gap a bit more when Lee pushed through the Gautier defense from the one yard line to put the score at 35-28 with 8:23 left in the game.

Gautier answered back with a touchdown through an 11 yard run by Irving with 6:57 left in the game, putting the score at 42-28 with Gregory’s PAT.

The Blue Devils again closed the gap when Matthew Michele carried the ball from the 31 yard line for a touchdown with 5:12 left to play. The score was then 42-35.

Gautier added the lead on the team’s subsequent possession when Irving completed a pass to Phillips from the 30 yard line with 3:39 left in the game. Gregory’s PAT was good.

Again, the Blue Devils did not give up, closing the gap once again when Michele made a big play late in the fourth, putting the team in striking distance. With 1:47 left to play, Cade Kennedy crossed the end zone and the PAT from Diebold put the score at 49-42.

The Blue Devils were able to regain control of the ball just before the end of the game. With only seconds left to play it appeared as thought things could go into over time when Lee attempted a big pass, but it was intercepted by Gautier’s John Cole, who ran the ball all the way to the end zone for a final touchdown as the clock reached zero, putting the final score at 55-42.