GALLATIN Jordan Mason had his biggest rushing performance yet, rushing for 298 yards on 40 carries with three touchdowns to give Gallatin a 34-27 victory at Station Camp on Friday.
It was the Green Wave’s fifth consecutive victory, pushing their record to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 6-5A play. Station Camp dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in region competition with the loss.
Gallatin hosts Beech next Friday, while Station Camp visits Hendersonville.
Five things that shaped Gallatin’s victory:
Green Wave mistakes don’t prove costly
The Green Wave were penalized 11 times for 100 yards on Friday evening, and Gallatin fumbled five times in Friday’s game, losing four of them.
Mason lost three fumbles of his own, but vowed to work on ball security after the game.
“I’m sure we’ll work on that all practice,” Mason said. “Everybody will be swarming on me, trying to get the ball.”
DeVault’s ‘homecoming’ present
Marcus DeVault transferred to Gallatin from Station Camp during the offseason, and after torching the Green Wave in last year’s contest, he made perhaps the biggest play for them on Friday evening. DeVault stepped in front of Station Camp senior wideout Jett Frost to intercept Tyler Thompson’s pass and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown to give the Green Wave their final points of the evening.
“It was very intense,” DeVault said. “It was crazy. A lot of people showed out, it was high-energy, it was a great game to play in.”
It was the second interception returned for a touchdown, as Dyze Vaughn opened the scoring with one of his own on the third play from scrimmage.
Bison defense opportunistic, but…
Station Camp’s defense recovered four fumbles, but the Bison offense couldn’t take advantage of all those turnovers, scoring 10 points in those four ensuing possessions.
Station Camp lost a fumble and turned the ball over on downs on the other two possessions following Green Wave turnovers, but the Bison did hit a big play as Thompson found a wide-open Shawn McKinley for a 39-yard touchdown that gave Station Camp its only lead of the evening, a 17-14 advantage in the second quarter.
“We made stops, we caused turnovers, we did the things we had to do to be in the ballgame,” Hollinsworth said. “I told Coach (Mark) Williams that it was the way the game’s supposed to be played. Two good teams going at it, laying it all on the line on both sides. In the game of high school football, you can’t ask for any better than that.”
Bison turned away at end of half
Both teams had used their timeouts to work on various things in the first half, so when the Bison were driving in Gallatin territory late in the second quarter, time wasn’t on their side.
Station Camp had first-and-goal from the Green Wave 3 with 15 seconds left when Thompson spiked the ball to stop the clock. On second down, Thompson rolled right, but didn’t find anyone open and tried to reach the end zone himself. He was stopped short and time ran out on Station Camp in the first half. Leaving those points on the table – especially with Gallatin receiving the second-half kickoff – didn’t help matters.
“We had a pass play called and Tyler read it and didn’t see anything,” Hollinsworth said. “But I give him credit for his effort. It wasn’t his fault, he thought he might have had the edge and could have gotten in (the end zone). That’s just the way things happen sometimes.”
Mason’s Mr. Football candidacy is off and running
Mason had the best game of his career yardage-wise, and despite the fumbles, he managed to set a new Gallatin single-game record for rushing yardage. He has 1,388 yards and 14 touchdowns on 135 carries through six games, and will play in the television spotlight next week as a part of WUXP-30’s Friday Night Rivals contest.
“Going into the Beech game undefeated in region play, that’s good,” Mason said. “It just means that we’ll go into it ready to play, thinking we’re going to win.”
Reach Chris Brooks at email@example.com or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @CB_SumnerSports, and on Snapchat @cbrooksgne.