It was a night of high intensity competition between two closely-located rivals — Gilbert (1-1) and Roland-Story (1-1) — with the Norsemen coming up just short in the 26-28 loss in Story City Friday night, Aug. 31.
While the Norsemen found success on offense, the defense struggled at times, and the team committed some poorly-timed mistakes and penalties.
“Gilbert played a great game. They were exactly what we saw on film,” Roland-Story coach Aaron Stensland said. “They played exceptionally hard. The credit goes to them. What I saw from us was shooting ourselves too many times with penalties. Mistakes that we thought going into week two would be taken care of. Just things I didn’t expect in week two.
“But they whooped our butts tonight. There’s nothing else to say.”
Things looked strong for Roland-Story off the bat. Gilbert went three-and-out on the first drive of the game and punted. But the Norsemen bobbled the kick and Gilbert recovered near the red zone.
The Tigers were quick to capitalize.
Two plays later, Barragy lobbed a pass to receiver Landon Howard, who fought off a pass interference, and caught the ball off-balance for an 18-yard touchdown.
Two drives later, Roland-Story answered. Starting at its own 27, the Norsemen moved quickly. The first play of the drive was a 35-yard rush from Jakob Pittman. Then quarterback Drake Day connected with running back Ben Chelsvig for a 25-yard gain. A 10-yard touchdown rush from Pittman finished off the drive and tied the game at six after a few failed extra points.
The Tigers dismantled any momentum with a methodical, 12-play touchdown drive that lasted almost five minutes. Roland-Story followed it with an 11-play touchdown drive of its own, tying the game at 13-all.
Near the end of the half, Gilbert had the last laugh, scoring in just 18 seconds via an 18-yard pass from Barragy to senior Anthony Porter to give Gilbert a 20-13 lead at halftime.
Out of the half, the Norsemen moved quickly. On just the second play of the drive, Chelsvig almost broke away for a touchdown, settling for a 34-yard rush after he couldn’t dance away from the sideline. But on the next play, Day successfully dived for the pylon to complete an 11-yard touchdown rush.
The Tigers once again responded, moving down the field in 11 plays before running back Mitchell Johnson punched it in from a yard out. The ensuing two-point conversion was successful, giving Gilbert a 28-19 lead.
Roland-Story scored again with less than a minute to go in the game, but the onside kick was unsuccessful and Gilbert ran out the clock to hold onto its two-point lead.
Gilbert 28, Roland-Story 26
Gilbert — 6 14 8 0 — 28
Roland-Story — 6 7 6 7 — 26
GILBERT — Matt Barragy pass to Landon Howard for 37 yards (kick no good)
ROLAND-STORY — Jakob Pittman rush for 10 yards (kick no good)
GILBERT — Aiden Carr rush for 1 yard (kick good)
ROLAND-STORY — Ben Chelsvig rush for 5 yards (kick good)
GILBERT — Barragy pass to Anthony Porter for 18 yards (kick good)
ROLAND-STORY — Drake Day rush for 11 (kick no good)
GILBERT — Mitchell Johnson rush for 1 (2-point conversion good)
ROLAND-STORY — Chelsvig rush for 1 (kick good)