ST. PETERSBURG —After a nearly two-hour delay spent waiting for an officiating crew to arrive, the Gibbs Gladiators managed to outlast Middleton High 20-17 for their first home win of the season.
The theme of the night was the big play as neither team executed particularly well on either side of the ball and the shortest of the game’s five touchdowns was 22 yards.
Middleton was in the driver's seat for most of the game thanks to contributions from wideout Amp Carswell, three catches for 102 yards and a TD, and defensive standout Jarel Cooper who seemed to be in the Gibbs backfield on every play.
However, they failed to close out as the fourth quarter saw them surrender 60 penalty yards and a key fumble at midfield.
“We just had to capitalize on their mistakes,” said Gibbs coach Antonio Knox.
Gibbs’ Gary Simon was quick to do just that posting two of his three passing touchdowns in the quarter. His final line included 5-of-6 passing for 140 yards and all three Gladiator scores.
The teams came into Friday’s game with three wins between them and were looking to renew a decades long dormant matchup that Gibbs athletic director Javan Turner explained as, “a segregation era rivalry.”