Quarterback Garhett King accounted for four touchdowns, and Patrick Forsyth rushed for 158 yards and a pair of scores as the St. Cloud Bulldogs (2-0) rolled to 43-0 road-win over Gateway (0-2) on Saturday night.
King directed a Bulldog attack that accounted for 379 yards of total offense on just 38 plays – averaging almost 10 yards a snap. It was the first victory by the road team in this rivalry since Gateway won at St. Cloud in 2015.
“To tell you the truth, I was a little concerned with our team’s attitude in pre-game. It was like they just weren’t focused,” Head Coach Bryan Smart said of his team. “I spoke to them before the game about it and we ended up getting a great effort. It was definitely fun to get off to a fast start for a change.”
The Bulldogs needed just five plays to take a 7-0 lead in the game, as King capped off a 69-yard drive with a 40-yard scoring pass to Hayden Taylor. St. Cloud extended the lead to 14-0 on its next possession as King scored on a 1-yard run. The drive was set up by Forsyth’s 50-yard run, as he was stopped just short of the goal line.
Two possessions later, King completed two long passes to Forsythe and Anthony Gonzalez to account for 61 yards before Forsythe covered the final five yards on a scoring run to make it 21-0. With 2:32 remaining in the half, King would call his own number from 10-yards out to extend the lead to 28-0 at the half.
On the first play of St. Cloud’s first possession of the second half, King hit Jack Rilling in stride for a 62-yard touchdown pass, as St. Cloud built a 35-0 lead and triggered a running clock for the remainder of the game. St. Cloud would hold on downs and take over on the Panthers 28 on its next possession, and King would race around the right-side on a 10-yard run to make it 43-0.
For the game, King finished six of nine passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns; while rushing for 19 yards and two more scores on three carries. Counting a 26-yard reception and a kickoff return, Forsyth accounted for nearly 200 all-purpose yards.
While the offense was clicking on all cylinders, the Bulldogs defense was also playing well. The defensive “11” forced two turnovers in the game, partially blocked a punt and limited the Panthers to 116 yards of total offense.
“My numbers are killing my program right now,” Gateway Head Coach Marlin Roberts said. “When Toho opened two years ago they took half our student body away and it was almost like starting over. We simply do not have the numbers to compete with some of the teams on our schedule.”
It did not help that the Panthers lost their best player on the game’s opening kickoff when running back Jakovi Bryant went down with a dislocated shoulder. Offensively, the Panthers relied on Quincy Cime (47 yards on 13 carries) and Elby Tieku (46 yards on six carries) for the majority of their offense.
The win sets up next week’s home game between the Bulldogs and Osceola Kowboys (2-0) in the 97th edition of one of the oldest rivalries in Florida High School history. The Kowboys lead the all-time series 65-27-4, including a 43-0 win last year.
“Osceola has dominated the series as of late so it’s hard to consider this the rivalry it once was when there were only two high schools in the county. Frankly this could be the best Osceola team coach Nichols has ever had and that’s saying something. It’s going to be a terrific challenge and test for our team,” Smart added.
Osceola defeated Cypress Creek 56-0 on Friday and has now outscored its two opponents by a 112-0 margin this season. The Kowboys will take a 35-game winning streak against county opposition into the game.
Gateway (0-2) returns to action with a home game against Boone (2-1).