CATEGORY: FOC College Football
HED: Tigers' winning ways stopped
By Gene Phelps
BOONEVILLE - A combination of steady rain and Gulf Coast offense left Northeast all wet Thursday night.
The visiting Bulldogs executed enough on the slippery turf at Keenum Stadium to score four touchdowns in their 32-6 community college football victory against the Tigers.
The loss was the first of the young season for Northeast, which opened its 2000 campaign last week with a 21-12 win over Jones. The win snapped a 13-game losing streak and was the Tigers' first home victory since 1996.
"Gulf Coast didn't do anything special," Northeast linebacker L.P. Spence said. "We just made too many mistakes."
Gulf Coast, which lost its opener to Holmes last week, got two rushing touchdowns of 4 and 5 yards from fullback DeLoise Moore. The Bulldogs finished with 246 yards total offense, including 174 rushing.
Northeast struggled offensively, managing just 79 yards rushing and 37 passing.
"Not to make an excuse, but that wasn't the same (Gulf Coast) club that played Holmes," Northeast coach Laurin Collins said. "There were some things they were doing defensively that we thought we could take advantage of. But the weather made the ball get heavy."
Leading 16-6 at halftime, Gulf Coast marched 65 yards in five plays to score on its first possession of the second half. Running back Bernard Vinson scored from 45 yards out on a sweep to give the Bulldogs a 23-6 advantage.
"They hurt us when they scored on their first possession (of the second half)," Spence said.
The Bulldogs added a safety and Moore scored on a 4-yard run in the final 30 minutes to seal the victory for Gulf Coast.
Doug Gabriel gave the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead with 5 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter, capping a 70-yard, four-play drive with an 11-yard run on a sweep. A 45-yard pass from Jake Page to Ricky Ricks put Gulf Coast in Tiger territory.
Late in the quarter, Gulf Coast took advantage of a Northeast turnover - a fumble by Keith Belton - to get possession at the Tigers' 34-yard line. Zack Martin, who missed the extra point try earlier, nailed a 32-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead lead with 1:43 left in the opening period.
Moore scored on a 5-yard run to push the Bulldogs' lead to 16-0 with 8:05 remaining in the second quarter. The TD capped a 39-yard, five-play drive following a Northeast punt.
Northeast's defense provided the Tigers' lone points in the first half.
Lineman Tim Morrison shot through the Gulf Coast line to block a punt attempt by Roger Ridgeway. Spence picked up the loose ball at the Bulldogs' 5-yard line and raced into the end zone for the touchdown with 3:29 remaining in the half, cutting Gulf Coast's lead to 16-6.
Spence blocked a punt in the first quarter, giving the Tigers the ball at the Gulf Coast 34, but they were unable to turn the break into points.
Gulf Coast's Martin missed on a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.