Gainesville broke a scoreless tie on the very next play, and the Eagles never recovered, dropping their district 9-3A opener, 42-21 to the Leopards.“We played a pretty decent first quarter and we are down there around the 15-yard line trying to get some points and we don’t execute,” Decatur coach Kyle Story said. “It went downhill from there. We kind of dropped our heads there in the second quarter and they scored 24 points before we knew what happened. They deserved to win. We didn’t look like we were very well-coached or very well-disciplined.”
After the Leopards’ first score, they took advantage of a Decatur personal foul penalty that allowed them to kick from the Eagle 45-yard line. The Leopards recovered the onside kick and three plays later Adam Berryman struck again with his second score of the night, giving Gainesville a 14-0 lead.
One play into Decatur’s next drive, quarterback Grayson Muehlstein threw the first of two interceptions, setting the Leopards up again. Seven plays later Gainesville’s Denzel Johnson found David Moore for a 14-yard touchdown strike to give the Leopards a 21-0 lead.
After another Gainesville stop, the Leopards would drive down and get a 31-yard field goal right before the half to take a 24-0 lead, ending a dismal second quarter for the Eagles.
The teams traded punts to start the second half before the Leopards struck again. Johnson would find tight end Chris White for a 20-yard touchdown to stretch the Gainesville lead to 30-0.
Decatur turned the ball over on their next drive and Gainesville took advantage. Berryman capped off the next drive with his third score of the night, giving the Leopards a 36-0 lead.
Late in the third quarter, Decatur would crack the scoreboard when Muehlstein scored from 7 yards out to cut the Gainesville lead to 36-7.
Midway through the fourth quarter Muehlstein found Ben Blattner for a nine-yard score, trimming the Leopard lead to 36-14.
Gainesville came right back, when Jonathan Mendez scored from 16 yards out to give the Leopards a 42-14 lead.
Decatur would add one last touchdown when Muehlstein scored on a one-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
“We have got to do a better job of wrapping up and getting guys to the ground,” Story said about getting prepared for next week. “We didn’t move the ball very well either because we weren’t able to block their defensive front.”
GAINESVILLE 42; DECATUR 21
Decatur … 0 … 0 … 7 … … 14-21
Gainesville … 0 … 24 … 6 … … 12-42
Gainesville – Adam Berryman 84 run: Sagrero kick
Gainesville – Berryman 5 run; Sagrero kick
Gainesville – David Moore 14 pass from Denzel Johnson; Sagrero kick
Gainesville – Sagrero 31 field goal
Gainesville – Chris White 20 pass from Johnson; kick failed
Gainesville – Berryman 9 run; kick failed
Decatur – Grayson Muehlstein 9 run; kick good
Decatur – Ben Blattner 9 pass from Muehlstein; kick good
Gainesville – Jonathan Mendez 16 run; kick failed
Decatur – Muehlstein 1 run; kick good
DECATUR … GAINESVILLE
First Downs … 15 … 15
Rushing-yards … 111 … 271
Passing yards … 197 … 113
Total yards … 308 … 384
Comp-Att-Int … 13-18-2 … 7-11-0
Punts … 3-20 … 2-55
Penalties … 5-40 … 5-26
Rushing – Gainesville – Decatur, Muehlstein, 20-86; Gainesville, Berryman, 17-166
Passing – Gainesville – Decatur, Muehlstein, 13-18-197-2; Gainesville, Johnson, 7-11-113-0
Receiving – Gainesville – Decatur, Cain Lowe, 5-97; Gainesville, Moore, 4-55.