WINSTED >> After a close first half, where Gilbert/Northwestern couldn’t get anything going through the air, they went back to its bread and butter and ran past the Lewis Mills Spartans for a 44-12 victory.
“We saw in our scouting that we could pass on them,” said Yellowjackets head coach Scott Salius of his team’s performance in the first half where they led 7-6 and had four turnovers. “We went back to the fundamentals with our run plays.”
In the first half, Yellowjackets star running back Tony Ortiz managed only 44 yards on 10 carries.
“I knew we had to get Tony the ball more,” said Lippincott. “We took Tony away in the first half and we knew in the second half we had to get him involved.”
After the Yellowjackets defense, stopped the Spartans on four downs, the Yellowjackets took over at its own 41-yard line when the Yellowjackets got Ortiz involved and he rewarded them with a 59-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the half.
“I wasn’t able to get to the outside in the first half, they were sealing the sides pretty well and we were missing a few blocks,” said Ortiz. “In the second half, we knew we had to do what we do best with me, John or Seth (Dayton) and get in the end zone.”
Ortiz found the end zone two more times in the second, from 12 and 55-yards out, to go along with his 171 second half yards and 215 yards for the game.
“We made no tactical changes, we played the way we should have,” said Salius of his team’s second half performance. “We executed with intensity.”
Mills was able to score in the second half on a one-yard run by sophomore quarterback Lucas Lanning, who started the game in place of senior Colin Thorn who missed the beginning of the game because of the SAT’s.
Lanning also threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Justin Pease in the first half, before being replaced by Thorn when he got to the game. Lanning came back in the game after Thorn was injured on a sack.
After a strong first half the Spartans seemed to be tired and couldn’t keep up with the Yellowjackets running attack.
“We were out of shape,” said Spartans head coach Jose Santana. “Our first string guys were strong, but our twos and threes are young.”
Lippincott hit Nick Pedrolini on a 21-yard touchdown pass, senior linebacker Ryan Ott sacked Thorn in the end zone for a safety.
“I am one of the leaders on this team and they can’t see my weak side,” said Lippincott of his performance. “I have to keep my head up.’
The Yellowjackets also caught a break in the second half when Dayton recovered a fumble by Ortiz and took it 60-yards for a touchdown.
“I heard ‘ball’ and I turned around and grabbed it and took off,” said Dayton.
Even with the slow start for the Yellowjackets offense, its defense stepped up and played well throughout the entire game holding
the Spartans to 171-yards on offense, sacking the Spartans a total of seven times.
“Our defense, were not overpowering but we’re fast,” said Salius. “Paxton (Lewis-Franklin) had a great job getting into the back field today.”
The Spartans falls to 0-3 on the season, still in search of its first win under first-year head coach, Santana, but they need to find themselves first.
“It comes down to heart,” said Santana. “Dominik Jankowski played the entire game and didn’t say a word, he played hard.”
The Yellowjackets travel to Ellington to take on the Knights, next Saturday at 1:30. The Knights are 2-2 on the season.
“Ellington is a good team and we can’t take them for granted,” said Ortiz.
If the Yellowjackets want to have a shot at winning the conference they will need to continue to play like it did in the second half.
“We have to keep on rolling and compete for that banner,” said Dayton.
Gilbert/Northwestern 44, Lewis Mills 12
At Gilbert High School
Gilbert/Northwestern 7 0 23 14 – 44
Lewis Mills 6 0 0 6 – 12
LM – Justin Pease 11-yard TD catch from Lucas Lanning (extra point no good);
GN – John Lippincott 22-yard run (extra point good);
GN – Tony Ortiz 59-yard run (extra point good);
GN – Tony Ortiz 12-yard run (extra point good);
GN – Ryan Ott tackles Colin Throne in endzone for safety;
GN- Tony Ortiz 55-yard run (extra point good);
GN – Nick Pedrolini 21-yard catch from John Lippincott (extra point good);
LM – Lucas Lanning 1-yard run (two-point no good);
GN – Seth Dayton 60-yard fumble recovery (extra point good).
Passing: GN – John Lippincott 6-12 for 63 yards 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions. LM – Lucas Lanning 4-6 for 67 yards 1 touchdown, 1 interception; Colin Thorn 3-7 for 24 yards.
Rusing: GN – Tony Ortiz 17-for-215 yards, 3 touchdowns; John Lippincott 5-for-39 yards, one touchdown; Matt Nieves 3-for-31 yards; Seth Dayton 2-for-11 yards; Aiden Tellier 1-for-10 yards. LM – Max Stone 11-for-56 yards; Lucas Lanning 7-for-23 yards, one touchdown; Cody Lessard 2-for-9 yards; Colin Kennedy 6-for-7 yards; Aris Artemiadis 1-for-4 yards; Mike Ciccarelli 1-for- minus¬¬ 2 yards; Colin Thorn 9-for-minus 16 yards.
Receiving: GN – Nick Pedrolini 2-for-26 yards, one touchdown; Seth Dayton 1-for-20 yards; Paxton Lewis-Franklin 1-for-15; Tony Ortiz 1-for-2 yards; Ben Schiffer 1-for-0 yards. LM – Dominik Jankowski 1-for-25 yards; Aris Artemiadis 1-for-23 yards; Justin Pease 1-for-11 yards, one touchdown; Colin Kennedy 1-for-8 yards; Matthew Rinkus 1-for-0 yards.
Records: Gilbert/Northwestern 3-1, Lewis Mills 0-3.