LUTZ — Gaither linebacker Logan Marshall called the field “terrible.” Teammate Javon Hammond said it was the “worst field I’ve ever played on.”
In a game that required four nights to complete, Gaither sloshed its way to a 22-6 victory over host Steinbrenner on Monday. The Class 7A, District 7 contest was resumed after being stopped by lightning and rain Friday in the first quarter with the Cowboys leading 8-0.
Josh Bell scored twice for Gaither (4-1, 2-0) and quarterback Alex McGough overcame a rough game (7-for-23, 110 yards, one interception) with two TD passes, including a 76-yarder to Shug Oyegunle.
But it was the Gaither defense that dominated on a field so wet that it was challenging to walk on at the end. The Cowboys forced five turnovers and blocked a punt. Hammond, a defensive back, had a career-high three interceptions, Jamari Cord recovered two fumbles, and Amani Oruwariye blocked a punt. The only points for Steinbrenner (1-4, 0-2) came when Daniel Villar recovered a blocked punt by Bryce Jones in the Gaither end zone.
“Our defense was knockout,” Marshall said. “The field was terrible. There wasn’t one dry spot on it, and we just had to play through it all night. One game in (four) nights … We came out hot on Friday night and just continued it over until (Monday).”
Said Hammond: “We were looking for deep passes, because we were up (on the scoreboard).”
Play deteriorated so badly in the second half that both teams combined for only 44 yards on offense. The Cowboys and Warriors each punted eight times, and were flagged for 23 penalties for 200 yards.