But for the final two quarters, the host Falcons dominated the Blue Devils on the way to a 45-17 Mountain 7 District whipping.
“No adjustments. We just weathered the storm early,” said first-year Abingdon coach Garrett Amburgey. “Give Gate City credit. They were ready. We just weathered the storm and started executing better.”
Abingdon never led in the first half until the final play of the second quarter when William Seymore scored from 3 yards out following a Gate City fumble at the Blue Devils 40 with nine seconds left to play.
Falcons quarterback Gabe Boothe connected with Tyler Thayer down the right sideline on the first play of the drive to give Abingdon the ball at the 3-yard line with two seconds left in the opening half. On the next play, Seymore carried it up the middle for the score as time expired to give Abingdon a 17-13 halftime advantage.
GATE CITY STRIKES FIRST
Gate City scored on its first possession of the game, moving the ball 53 yards on seven plays. Luke Reed capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown run with 7:13 left in the opening quarter to put the Blue Devils up 6-0.
Abingdon cut the lead to 6-3 with 1:13 left in the first quarter on a 22-yard field goal from Graham Griffith.
The Blue Devils added to their lead with 8:58 left in the first half when Drew Vermillion faked a punt and connected with D’Andre Mack on a 60-yard touchdown pass to put Gate City up 13-3.
ABINGDON TACKS ON POINTS
Abingdon took over the scoring after that, racking up 42 unanswered points on the way to the win.
The Falcons (2-0, 1-0) cut the Gate City lead to 13-10 with 2:32 left in the second on an 8-yard run from River Carter and then added Seymore’s score at the end of the half to take the lead.
FALCONS ROLL IN SECOND HALF
The second half belonged to Abingdon.
The onslaught started early when Seymore stripped the ball from a Gate City runner on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter and sprinted 19 yards for a touchdown.
Late in the third quarter, the Falcons added two more scores on a 28-yard run and a 42-yard run from sophomore Martin Lucas.
Lucas finished the night with 138 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
“The offensive line was tremendous, and the running game was great tonight. I’m just really proud of them,” said Amburgey.
Both of Lucas’ touchdown runs came after Gate City turnovers. The Blue Devils committed four turnovers, including three in the second half.
Both teams face tough tests next weekend when Abingdon travels to Pulaski County and Gate City takes on Sullivan South on the road.