Gar-Field bounces back with a win

WOODBRIDGE — Gar-Field shook off last week’s last-second loss against Hylton by scoring a touchdown in each quarter en route to its second victory over Forest Park in a month on Friday night.

Ryan Smith threw three touchdowns passes in the 28-6 Cardinal District win, but like most of the Indian contingent left unsatisfied.

“We came out pretty flat,” said the senior quarterback. “We had a flat week of practice, still trying to get over our disappointment. We’re not happy at all with this, at least I’m not.”

“Everybody was still down,” agreed defensive lineman Kenny White, who led Gar-Field (7-2, 3-2) with nine tackles, including one for loss and a pass deflection. “It took us a couple of days to get over it.”

The best medicine for Gar-Field’s ills was to be playing football again, but Forest Park (2-3, 3-6) had no intention of duplicating the 44-0 homecoming night drubbing they’d experienced at Gar-Field on October 5.

The Bruins’ first drive went 10 plays and they gained three of the seven first downs they managed all evening. But Gar-Field’s defense tightened up, stalling the Bruin drive at the 38, and the Indians took over.

Rasheed McClaude carried for 34 yards on the Gar-Field’s first play from scrimmage and went for 16 two plays later, but the drive stalled.

Ryan Smith hit his brother Justin on a 27-yard fade pattern on the last play of the first quarter to put Gar-Field ahead. Dennis Rowe followed with his first of four extra points.

McClaude later scored on an 8-yard run where he was flipped over by a tackler, landed on his feet and covered the final yard backward.

Smith completed two touchdown passes to Caleb Nelson in the second half.

Gar-Field, third in the Northwest Region, Division 6 playoff point ratings coming in, had hoped for a sharper outing. But after leading Hylton in the fourth quarter and failing to put the game away when they had the ball with under three minutes remaining, Gar-Field was glad to get a win Friday.

“We just want to get our heads right and get into the playoffs,” said Ryan Smith, who credited a defense that allowed just 196 total yards, 100 in the second half.

“The past two weeks, those guys have been great,” Smith said. “Jamar [Atkinson] is really stepping up. As long as they keep giving us great field position, we’re going to put up points and be tough to deal with.”

Atkinson, a former 1,000-yard rusher now playing exclusively at linebacker, had eight tackles, including one for loss and a forced fumble.

Forest Park scored when quarterback Jason Labute, alternating with William Nance, found Isaiah Hall on a quick slant 4:07 from the finish.

McClaude led all ballcarriers with 126 yards and Smith threw for 134. The Indians finish their season next Friday against Woodbridge while the Bruins travel to Hylton.

Similar Posts