TAMPA — Gaither’s defense held strong on a crucial fourth down inside its 10-yard line as the Cowboys upset visiting Tampa Bay Tech.
Leading 14-10 late in the fourth quarter when it got the ball on the Titans’ 31-yard line, Gaither’s offense couldn’t produce points, giving Tampa Bay Tech the ball on its own 20 with 2:09 to play and a chance to win the game with a touchdown.
Led by quarterback Deon Cain, the Titans (6-2, 3-1 Class 7A-District 7) marched the ball to the Gaither 11-yard line, before a pair of short gains and losses set them up with a fourth-and-8 from the Cowboys’ 9-yard line with 25 seconds left.
Cain was sacked on the play, however, turning the ball over to Gaither (4-4, 3-1) for the win.
“We can’t do anything pretty, but we found a way to win,” Gaither coach Jason Stokes said. “I hate that we have to have our backs against the wall to respond, but that’s who we are.”
Jeff Suarez scored both touchdowns for Gaither, on a 2-yard run in the second quarter and a 40-yard pass from Alex McGough in the third quarter.
Cain accounted for Tampa Bay Tech’s lone touchdown on a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
TBT 0 7 3 0 — 10
Gaither 0 7 7 0 — 14
G—Suarez 2 run (Hobson kick)
T—Cain 2 run (Chillura kick)
G—Suarez 40 pass from McGough (Hobson kick)
T—FG Chillura 23