ST. PETERSBURG — Northeast knew it needed to beat Gibbs to keep its playoff hopes alive. Behind stout play of Auggie Sanchez and their defense, the Vikings outlasted the Gladiators.
"(Sanchez) is only a sophomore but he has size and speed and is a gifted athlete," Northeast coach Jay Austin said. "We know he's going to play his tail off every game."
Gibbs forced Northeast to punt on its opening possession and drove to the Vikings' 17. After the drive stalled, the Gladiators went for a field goal that was blocked and returned 80 yards by Serrod Brooks to put Northeast up 6-0.
The Vikings added another touchdown in the second quarter as Jalin Hubbard caught a screen pass from Terron Williams and raced 31 yards. Gibbs scored late as Devontae White found Gary Simon for a 13-yard score.
Nathan Cowan, Times correspondent