Junior running back Kevin Porter rushed for 131 yards in the second half as King broke open a close game to rout Gaither 40-17 Friday night in Class 5A, District 8. The Lions (6-2, 2-2) scored 20 third-quarter points. Gaither (2-5, 2-2) trailed 7-3 at halftime, but Porter _ who had runs of 49 and 46 yards _ gave the Lions control of the game.
"They ran the counter-trap with great effectiveness in the second half," said Gaither coach Earl Garcia. "We tried to adjust, but we just couldn't get the thing shut down."
With two district losses each, the Lions and the Cowboys are all but eliminated from the 5A-8 race.
Porter sat out the first half for disciplinary reasons, and he entered the game on the Lions' second possession of the third quarter. He immediately gained 13 yards on a counter play to the left, and had a 49-yard run on the same call the following play.
"I saw it open and tried to do my best with it," Porter said.
The 5-foot-6, 165-pound running back followed his 49-yard run with a 46-yard gain on the Lions' next possession. That set up a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andre Williams to tight end Jeff Sears, and made the score 27-10 after Travis Masters' extra-point kick.
The Lions entered the game knowing they'd have to stop quarterback Michael Jordan, the state's second-leading passer. Vickers had his defensive backs playing back on the Gaither receivers to guard against the long pass.
It worked for a while, as Jordan began the game 3-for-8 for 15 yards. He finished 20-of-38 for 214 yards and two interceptions, but by the time Jordan got hot, it was too late.
The Lions countered Jordan's passing with 272 rushing yards. Williams threw for 136 yards and gained 61 on the ground.
"Their kids ran the ball real hard all night," Garcia said. "We couldn't find a way to stop it."
The Lions found a way to stop themselves by committing six turnovers, five on fumbles. Gaither only scored three points off those turnovers, while King scored 14 points off Cowboys turnovers, including a 42-yard interception runback by junior Maurice Rolle in the fourth quarter.