TARPON SPRINGS — Daniel Davis started the game with a kickoff return for a touchdown, and added two critical TD catches as Tarpon Springs eluded Gibbs' upset bid in 5A-District 8 play.
Both of Davis' scoring catches came after Gibbs had taken the lead. His 20-yard reception from Brandon Casler put the Spongers ahead 24-20 early in the fourth.
After that Gibbs used three consecutive big runs by Verqueze Mitchell to get inside the Tarpon 25 but Sergio Troncoso's sack for a 15-yard loss derailed the Gladiators (1-4, 0-2 in district). Keivonte Warren intercepted a fourth-down pass and returned it 45 yards to midfield.
Michael Ford, who finished with 135 yards on 23 carries, put the game away with a 9-yard rumble with 3:02 remaining. Mitchell scored in the final minute.
Gibbs quarterback DaJuan Johnson succumbed to cramps in the second half. Johnson's big first half had Gibbs within 17-14. But after a long third-quarter run he began cramping and was carried off, returning for another long run before again departing.
In between, Tyrell Hubbard-Smith's 41-yard pass to Sam Jones set up Hubbard-Smith's 7-yard keeper that had Gibbs ahead 20-17. But Warren's long kick return then set up the winning score.
Darek Sharp, Times correspondent