Gibbs figured out the secret to stopping Largo's Dexter McCluster _ don't give him the ball.
Using what might be the county's biggest offensive line and most varied attack, the Gladiator offense ground up the Packers, dominating time of possession and winning a 34-28 shocker Thursday night at Largo.
Jerrel Young scored on a 2-yard run with two minutes left to lift the Gladiators (2-1) from behind. The Gibbs defense did the rest. Linebackers Kamal Gipson and Quentin Mack came up with consecutive sacks to secure the victory.
However, make no mistake, this was all about the Gibbs' offense, known as a flashy aerial attack but downright physical in overmatching the Packers.
"I give all the credit to my offensive coordinator," said head coach Al Davis, pulling first-year coordinator Anthony Givins close. "He said we were going to control the ball and we did."
Better, perhaps, than they even realized:
+ The Gladiators ran 66 plays from scrimmage to just 26 for Largo.
+ They controlled the ball for 34:42, compared to just 13:18 for the Packers.
+ Gibbs had drives of 18, 16 and 14 plays, while Largo had only one longer than four.
+ With 4:05 left in the third quarter, Largo ran its 12th play, after Gibbs scored on its 58th to lead 24-14.
Givins credited his big line, led by 310-pounders David Latu and Ravie Grimsley.
"It was frustrating," said Largo coach Rick Rodriguez. "We played in spurts."
Even without the ball, Largo (2-1) managed to take a 28-27 lead with 5:19 remaining when Jemell Howard caught a deflected pass for a 33-yard score.
But Gibbs, which led 17-7 at halftime, marched 80 yards right back. Quarterback Josh McKinnon ran for 23 yards and completed a 42-yard pass to Brandon Shorter, and Young rushed in for the gamewinner.
Young finished with 106 yards, Walter Brady had 90 and McKinnon added 79 as the Gladiators ran for 311.
McKinnon threw for 142 yards, splitting his 10 completions between Shorter and Kevin Williams.
McCluster was "held" to a game-high 128 yards, scoring once.