Gate City quarterback Hunter Collier (10) looks downfield while under pressure from a John Battle defender during Friday night's playoff game at Legion Field in Gate City. (Ned Jilton II photo)
GATE CITY — Gate City scored early and often on a rainy Friday evening at Legion Field, rolling to a 49-12 win over John Battle in the first round of the VHSL Class 2A West Region football playoffs.
The Blue Devils took advantage of three turnovers and a muffed punt to a build a 49-0 lead with a little more than four minutes still to play in the second quarter.
“We had a lot of good things happen to us in all phases of the game,” Gate City coach Bill Houseright said. “It seemed when something happened bad to them, it was good for us.”
Freshman quarterback Hunter Collier passed for two touchdowns, rushed for one and added a 2-point conversion for Gate City. He had a 30-yard TD pass to Trevor Lunsford and a 16-yarder to older brother Michael Collier in the first quarter.
Tanner McMurray rushed for two touchdowns, on runs of 4 and 19 yards, and both scores came on successive one-play series in the second quarter. He also tallied a 2-point conversion run earlier in the game.
Robbie Hicks initiated scoring for Gate City with a 20-yard TD run in the first quarter. Michael Collier also returned an interception 32 yards for a score.
The Blue Devils moved on to Round 2 next week when they’ll take on Union at Bullitt Park in Big Stone Gap. The Bears held off Lee 30-27 to advance.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Saturday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.