Gordo Wins Thrilling Shootout Over Winfield
When the dust settled at Gordo High School on Friday night, the hometown Green Wave had won a 49-42 game which featured nine lead changes.
Gordo (2-1) came alive in the passing game in the second half to make the big plays and seal the deal. The visiting Winfield Pirates (2-1) were dealt its first blemish of the season.
In the first quarter, Gordo raced out to a 13-0 advantage on the strength of a Kyson Pate pick and two rushing scores by quarterback Brax Garrison. Winfield roared back into it with two ground-and-pound scores of their own, courtesy of Braxton Tilley and Joseph Cook.
Undeterred, Gordo marched into the Pirates' lair and scored on the back of star tailback Rayshawn Williams. He accounted for 45 all-purpose yards and caught a 21-yard touchdown to put the Green Wave back on top by six.
Winfield ended the first half with a parting gift, though, in the form of a touchdown by Keylan Hughes.
At halftime, Gordo head coach Gus Smith spoke on his team's run defense.
"I hope our conditioning comes into play, they got a lot of guys playing both ways... we just gotta play with more confidence."
Back and forth the ride continued to go after the break, as Gordo made it 27-21 when Williams scored on the ground.
Cook then ran it in again on a wildcat and made it 28-27.
The next score went to the Green Wave; Garrison, who struggled passing in the first half, began to find it through the air. He hit Jace Hathcock on a 4th & 8 for a 24-yard strike. At this point in the game, Smith chose to try making amends for the missing extra point, quashed by a bad snap way back on the second Gordo score.
Garrison carried it home to give his team the 35-28 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Gordo's kick coverage unit absolutely leveled the Pirates' return man, forcing a fumble that appeared to lead to a turnover. Due to the force of the hit, however, a serious injury was caused to the returner, resulting in a play stoppage and the ball staying in the Pirates' hands.
It took them one play to make things level again. Quarterback Aidan Quinn ran it home for a 59-yard score on a keeper, and just that quickly, it was 35-all.
On the next offensive series, Garrison forced a third-down pass that found the arms of Winfield's Hayden Ballard and, very quickly after that, the Green Wave end zone.
42-35, Pirates. They played on.
The next third down play Gordo faced was backed up 10 yards because of a penalty. Garrison still found Kohl Summerville for the game-tying score from 43 yards out.
By now, the environment had become raucous. Both teams turned out a great portion of their respective fan bases. As such, fittingly, it was now that the teams began trading punts.
Winfield took the ball with less than five minutes to play on the Gordo 49. They made it inside the 30, but the Green Wave secondary held. Quinn's 4th & 9 heave to the end zone met turf. There was a minute to play.
If you, the reader, assumed at this point that overtime would eventuate from all of this, few would have blamed you.
You'd still be wrong.
On the second play of the drive, Garrison passed the ball to Ethan Wilder. His coaches screamed at him to get out of bounds. Wilder, looking to make something happen, instead reversed his field, took the edge, and made a 60-yard house call.
The metaphorical roof came off the place.
"Big time players make big time plays," Smith said.
Winfield had the chance to get the ball last, but their prayers weren't answered. They had led at the half, they had run the ball well the entire night, and they had lost.
"We just didn't tackle, we didn't do what we needed to do there at the end of the game... they made the plays they had to make," Winfield coach David McKinney said. "They did a great job, my hat's off to them."
"We're gonna bounce back. We're gonna get our woes corrected."
"It wasn't pretty, but at this point, we'll take it," said Smith. "We probably had our toughest week of practice... I think everybody gives Gordo their best shot. That's a part about being Gordo."
"I kept saying they were gonna fold eventually playing both ways, and they never did. Those kids kept playing hard, but our kids did too. I'm so proud of them."
The Green Wave will next take to the road to face Midfield next Friday.
Winfield @ Gordo 09-02
Bibb County vs Gordo 8/26/2022