DOWNS — Isaiah Chatman had 88 yards on nine carries, along with two touchdowns of 10 and 18 yards, respectively, and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley held on in the second half to secure a 22-7 victory over Tri-Valley in the Falcons’ first game at Downs since 2012.
“Our counter attack was working tonight,” said head coach Mike Allen. “Unfortunately, (Tri-Valley was) flowing very fast with Aidan (Laughery), but then we came under with Isaiah and got two touchdowns out of it."
Key in the game was the Falcon defense, as GCMS recovered four Tri-Valley fumbles and Cade Elliott intercepted a fourth-down throw in the fourth quarter as the Falcons won their second in a row, improving to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Heart of Illinois Large division.
Laughery led the Falcons on offense with 96 yards, 92 on the ground on 24 carries. Payton Kean had 58 yards and the quarterback Elliott finished with 18 on the ground. GCMS had 264 yards total.
Elliott was 1-of-4 for four yards passing.
Zander Woodring has a strong second half, carrying the ball 15 times up the middle for 70 yards after only having a handful of carries in the first two quarters. Tri-Valley finished with 167 offensive yards.
Viking quarterback Andrew Petrini was 8-of-16 passing for 63 yards.
GCMS turned the ball over in its first possession, but recovered a fumble on the next play to set up Chatman’s first score. Later in the half, GCMS recovered the ball when it bounces off a Tri-Valley return man on a punt play.
Laughery had a 13-yard touchdown run in the early part of the third quarter.
Tri-Valley rallies offensively in the late stages of the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter. Ty Baxter had a five-yard touchdown catch with 2:54 left in the third. The Vikings were moving the ball midway through the fourth quarter but fumbles the ball near midfield and GCMS recovered to stop the momentum.
Allen credited Tri-Valley with taking advantage of his team’s weaknesses.
“I know the score doesn’t show it, but they dominated us,” he said. “We couldn’t stop their run or pass, and we couldn’t put it in the endzone. We didn’t play as good as we were able to, and against Tri-Valley you have to. We talked all week, ‘this is about execution,’ and we didn’t execute the ball tonight.”
GCMS returns home next Friday to play LeRoy, which has a game tomorrow against South Fork.