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Abingdon escapes with hard-earned win over Gate City

By PAT KENNEY, Sports Correspondent • Sep 7, 2019 at 7:30 AM

GATE CITY — Abingdon junior running back Martin Lucas rushed for 227 yards and scored three touchdowns, the last one with 19 seconds remaining in the game, to lead the Falcons to a hard-earned 35-28 Mountain 7 District win over Gate City at Legion Field on Friday night.

“Martin ran with a lot of guts and courage out there tonight,” said Abingdon coach Garrett Amburgey, whose workhorse carried the ball 42 times and had TD runs of 13, 9 and 2 yards.

The Blue Devils (1-1, 0-1) scored twice in the third quarter to take a 28-21 lead on the defending Mountain 7 champs. The Falcons (2-0, 2-0) used an 11-play, 73-yard drive to tie the contest, capped by Lucas’ 9-yard dash into the end zone with 7:57 left in the fourth quarter.

After forcing Gate City to punt on its next possession, Abingdon once again went on the march. This time the Falcons, on the strength of seven carries and 42 yards from Lucas, pounded their way down the field — consuming 5:37 of the clock and 54 yards before Lucas burst across the goal line for the winning TD.

The Blue Devils managed two passing plays before the clock ran out and left them just short of the upset.

“It’s all on me,” said Gate City coach Jeremy Houseright. “The kids played their hearts out tonight. I have to do a better job of putting them in the right positions to win.”

The Blue Devils scored first — a Michael Calhoun 1-yard run in the first quarter — but Abingdon countered with 21 second-quarter points. After Gate City got an electrifying 56- yard TD run from Carson Jenkins, the halftime score favored the Falcons 21-14.

Gate City stunned the Abingdon faithful with two third-quarter touchdowns. Blue Devils quarterback Luke Reed tossed an 18-yard scoring pass to Jon Sallee and Jenkins scooted down the sideline to paydirt on a 47-yard jaunt.

Abingdon’s 14 unanswered fourth-quarter points proved to be the difference.

Falcons QB Jadon Boothe completed 4 of 6 passes for 104 yards with TD throws of 13 and 48 yards.

“We executed so well tonight,” Boothe said. “The receivers ran their routes and the offensive line was great.

“It’s a dream come true to come down here and win at Gate City. They are an excellent opponent.”

Jenkins finished with 10 carries for 146 yards and two TDs.


Gate City hosts Sullivan South next week, while Abingdon travels to Pulaski.

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