TAMPA — The defense was dominant and decisive. The offense wasn't bad, either.
Gaither remained atop the 7A-7 standings Thursday with a 37-0 pasting of Freedom. Quarterback Alex McGough accounted for four touchdowns (three passing, one running). But the Cowboy defense was even better. Led by linebacker Josh Scarberry's four sacks, Gaither (5-2, 3-0) limited Freedom to minus-2 yards on 36 plays and two first downs. It was the Cowboys' second shutout and fourth consecutive victory.
"I love our defense," Scarberry said. "I've been with them for a while. We have a lot of seniors and we're just doing our thing out there."
Gaither had nine sacks and never allowed Freedom (1-7, 1-2) inside its 34. Mikhail Reece set the tone in the opening minute with a fumble recovery at the Patriots' 4, leading to a Dalton Gilson 23-yard field goal. Demarcus Sexil caught touchdowns from 9 and 7 yards out. Vu Le also scored twice on a 14-yard pass and a 20-yard run.
Don Jensen, Times correspondent