1ST-CLASS TICKET

Davis, Pal­h­e­gyi pro­pel Car­di­nal Gibbons to blowout vic­tory for first state crown

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - By Adam Licht­en­stein

OR­LANDO — Car­di­nal Gibbons coach Matt DuBuc played for the 1990 Chiefs team that had made the pro­gram’s only state ti­tle game be­fore Fri­day. That team lost 44-14 to Suwan­nee Live Oak.

In his third year as his alma mater’s head coach, DuBuc fi­nally got to lift the state cham­pi­onship tro­phy.

“When I was 17 years old, in high school, I never en­vi­sioned [coach­ing Gibbons to a ti­tle],” DuBuc said. “But when I took over and Mike [Mor­rill] hired me, yeah, hell yeah, I wanted to get back here as the coach and lead a group of young men onto the field and have that op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing that we weren’t able to get done as a player.”

The Chiefs (13-2), who had trailed 10-3, went on a 45-0 gameend­ing tear and routed North Marion (12-3) in the Class 5A state ti­tle game 48-10 on Satur­day at Camp­ing World Sta­dium in Or­lando.

Gibbons run­ning back Vin­cent Davis gained 142 to­tal yards and scored two touch­downs, and sopho­more Brody Pal­h­e­gyi im­proved to 3-0 as the Chiefs start­ing quar­ter­back — af­ter a sea­so­nend­ing in­jury to Nik Scalzo — by throw­ing a touch­down pass and run­ning for an­other.

“You never know when your mo­ment will come,” Pal­h­e­gyi said. “My mo­ment came. I took it and ran away with it. I did the best I could do, and it’s crazy how it fin­ished.”

The teams traded field goals on their first drives, but on the Colts’ sec­ond possession, quar­ter­back Corey Wil­sher suf­fered an in­jury that knocked him out for the rest of the game.

Sopho­more quar­ter­back Quintin Gross took over for Wil­sher and got into the end zone, run­ning for a touch­down from 11 yards out.

The Chiefs couldn’t move the ball on their next drive, but the Colts’ of­fense fal­tered. Gross

made an in­ex­pe­ri­enced mis­take, hold­ing onto the ball for a 22-yard sack and forc­ing North Marion to punt.

The punt ended in dis­as­ter for the Colts. De­fen­sive back and Mar­shall com­mit Sid­ney Porter blocked the kick and scooped up the loose ball, scam­per­ing 6 yards into the end zone to tie the game at 10.

“We’ve been prac­tic­ing that all week,” Porter said.

Car­di­nal Gibbons took the lead with 2:04 left in the sec­ond quar­ter on Da­ton Mon­tiel’s sec­ond short field goal of the game.

Pal­h­e­gyi tossed a 52-yard touch­down pass to Jake Har­ring­ton with 50 sec­onds left in the first half. He fin­ished the game with 138 pass­ing yards, one pass­ing touch­down and a rush­ing touch­down.

“Right then and there, we knew were go­ing to do it,” Pal­h­e­gyi said. “We knew our de­fense was go­ing to lock it down. We knew were go­ing to fin­ish out strong.”

The Chiefs blew the game open in the third quar­ter.

Davis, the Gibbons star run­ning back and Pitts­burgh com­mit, scored on a 49-yard run to give Gibbons a 27-10 lead, and junior run­ning back Cole­man Ben­nett punched in a short score to make it 34-10. Pal­h­e­gyi opened the fourth quar­ter with his own 6-yard scram­bling touch­down, a and Davis added a 3-yard run to start a run­ning clock.

While the Chiefs of­fense was me­thod­i­cally mov­ing down the field and scor­ing, the Gibbons de­fense was dom­i­nat­ing Gross and the Colts.

North Marion fin­ished the game with only 109 yards. A tipped-ball pick by Ma­jon Wright set up the Ben­nett touch­down. Yah­weh Jeudy led the Chiefs with 10 tack­les and shared one for a loss, and Tre­vis Robinson, fresh off a school record-set­ting 5.5-sack game, led the team with a pair of sacks.

“We had a lot of doubters that we weren’t go­ing to beat Her­itage, we weren’t go­ing to do this, we weren’t go­ing to win states,” Porter said. “We did all that. We ac­com­plished ev­ery­thing that they said we weren’t go­ing to do.”

MICHAEL LAUGH­LIN/SUN SEN­TINEL PHO­TOS

Car­di­nal Gibbons’ Khris Bogle cel­e­brates with his team­mates af­ter win­ning the 5A state cham­pi­onship against North Marion on Fri­day.

Car­di­nal Gibbons’ Vin­cent Davis scores one of his two touch­downs dur­ing his team’s 5A cham­pi­onship vic­tory in Or­lando.

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