Broughton kept giving Cardinal Gibbons the football, and the Crusaders took advantage of the Capitals’ miscues in a 35-13 victory.
Gibbons (2-2) forced five turnovers on a night when Broughton (0-4) moved the ball well offensively, but couldn’t shake the turnover bug. One turnover turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for any comeback attempt by the Caps.
Trailing 21-13, Broughton had momentum after an 82-yard scoring run by Stephen McGowan. The Caps’ defense then did its part, forcing Cardinal Gibbons to punt. However, Broughton’s Shakell Wilson muffed the punt and Marcel Smith recovered on the visitors 32-yard line.
Four plays later, Dalen Spruill scored from four yards out to give the Crusaders a 28-13 lead.
“It was huge,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Steven Wright said. “We were looking for some kind of big play to kind of spark something that second half. (Broughton) kept it close that first half. One score game and we were able to generate a turnover right away. When we got that two-touchdown lead we felt like we could, maybe, start to distance ourselves.”
The Capitals were moving the ball midway through the fourth when Owen Wilkinson was picked off for the second time of the night, this time by Stephen Shank. The Crusaders put the game out of reach with a 1-yard run by defensive lineman turned fullback, Brendan Schult.
On Broughton’s first play of the second half, the Caps fumbled the ball away and Alexander Rios was there to jump on it for the Crusaders.
“It kind of sums up our season so far,” Broughton head coach Billy Lane said. “We continue to make just enough mistakes to cost us big in close games.”
Broughton’s third turnover of the night proved to be its most costly from a momentum standpoint. Not only did it kill a possible game-tying drive, it sucked the life out of the Caps on the sidelines. Broughton trailed by eight, but muffed a punt. Cardinal Gibbons scored four plays later and the Caps were never the same after that.
“Kids hung their head a little bit,” Lane said. “You kind of felt the air going out of the sideline balloon, so to speak. We had them stopped.”
They said it
“(Broughton) ran the ball so well it concerned me,” Wright said. “Because of those turnovers in the second half we were able to pull away.”
Three who mattered
Dalen Spruill, Cardinal Gibbons: The sophomore running back was a beast for the Crusaders, carrying the ball 24 times for 149 yards. He also caught two passes out of the backfield, one for the opening score of the night.
Wesley Wagner, Cardinal Gibbons: The senior QB managed the offense well, taking care of the football and getting it done through the air. Wagner finished with 117 yards passing.
Stephen McGowan, Broughton: The senior running back was a load, finishing with 19 carries for 126 yards, including an impressive 82-yard run.
By the numbers
5: Number of turnovers by Broughton.
82: Number of yards covered by McGowan on his second-half touchdown run.
5: Number of PAT made by Cardinal Gibbons co-captain James Russo, who was a perfect 5-5.
22: Yards on a TD run by Gibbons’ Hunter Caro on fourth-and-1.