Pilots improve to 2-2
The Fulton County High School Pilots returned to Sanger Field Sept. 9 as they hosted the Ballard Memorial Bombers. The Pilots were fresh off their first victory of the season, defeating the Calloway County Lakers 44-28 the previous week, while the Bombers were still in search for their first victory of the season, losing to Massac County, Ill. 59-38 Sept. 2.
Behind a dominant ground game which racked up 429 yards and six rushing touchdowns, and a 5-1 turnover advantage, the Pilots won 58-30 to improve their record to 2-2.
The Pilots imposed their will early, marching down the field on their opening possession and scoring on a McCauley carry. Gibbs converted the two-point conversion to put the Pilots up 8-0 less than two minutes into the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Pilots were able to force a Bombers’ fumble, recovered by Jovan Westmoreland to the Bombers one-yard line. Gibbs would punch it in for the Pilots second touchdown, but the two-point conversion was unsuccessful as the Pilots led 14-0.
Just as it looked like the Pilots might run away with the game, the Bombers responded by marching down the field on their next possession and scoring a touchdown, along with the two-point conversion to cut the Pilots’ lead to six with 8:33 remaining in the first quarter.
Both teams would trade possessions until TyAvious Isbell would find the endzone for the Pilots with 2:23 remaining in the quarter to increase the Pilots lead to 20-8.
However, the Bombers would once again answer and score a touchdown on a 3rd and 17 with 10 seconds left in the first quarter to cut the deficit to 20-16 after one quarter of action.
Gibbs would air it out and find Charles Goodman for a touchdown with 8:23 in the second quarter, and McCauley would convert the two point conversion to make it 28-16.
Caden Kimble would intercept a Bombers’ pass on the next possession, and the Pilots would convert on the Bombers’ turnover as JShon Jones would rumble into the endzone and the two-point conversion was good to increase the Pilots lead to 36-16 with 6:01 remaining in the first half.
The Bombers would score with 1:20 remaining to cut the Pilots’ lead to 14, but the Pilots would find the endzone with one second left in the first half to take a 42-22 lead into the lockerroom.
Gibbs completed seven of his 16 passing attempts for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran the ball eight times for 63 yards and one touchdown.
The Pilots’ rushing attack was led by three different players with 100+ yards on the ground, as McCauley led the team with 124 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown, followed by Jones with 105 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns, Isbell with 100 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown, Luke Jackson with 29 yards on four carries, and Westmoreland with eight yards on one carry.
Charles Goodman had three catches for 50 yards and one touchdown, Caden Kimble also had three catches for 46 yards and one touchdown, and Luke Jackson had one catch for 19 yards.
Defensively, the Pilots forced five Bombers turnovers, as Luke Jackson forced three fumbles and David Allison one, and McCauley, Westmoreland, Allison and RuMarriez Westbrook all recovered one fumble each. Kimble also intercepted one Bombers’ pass.
The Pilots were able to rack up 51 total tackles, led by Jackson with nine, Westbrook with 6, Westmoreland and Isbell with five each, Logan Griffiths with four, Goodman, Carson Oldaker and Marcus Bonds with three each, Allison, Kimble, Zayden Kinney and McCauley with two each, and Felix Jackson, Tristin Morris, Jones, Jason Mathews and Jackson Major with one each.
The Pilots will remain at home for Homecoming Sept. 16, as they host the South Fulton High School Red Devils. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m., with Homecoming ceremonies to begin at 6:30 p.m.
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