GORDONSVILLE — Coach Gavin Webster’s Tigers of Watertown stormed out of the gates for their 2018 high school football season opener on the road Friday night – roaring to a convincing 48-8 conquest of longtime neighboring rival Gordonsville at Turney Ford Field.
The two programs, having split their previous 10 outings with five wins apiece, Watertown’s 40-point decision marks their fourth straight win in the series.
The Purple Tigers got solid efforts both offensively and defensively, but it was their special teams unit that stole the show from the outset with junior Deramus Carey returning the game’s opening kickoff 81 yards to the end zone.
After Carey scored his second touchdown on a 29-yard first quarter scamper for a 14-0 Watertown cushion, the Purple Tigers’ defense faced a trio of threats from Gordonsville over the next few minutes.
A Watertown fumble, a shanked punt and an interception allowed Gordonsville three straight possessions that began in Watertown territory — at the 44-, 30- and 27-yard lines — and a chance at slicing the lead in half.
Watertown’s defense never allowed a first down on the first pair of Gordonsville threats but came away with its biggest stop at the 5:40 mark of the second quarter with a fumble recovery after Gordonsville landed a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line.
Watertown’s offense answered with back-to-back scoring drives before halftime with the senior tandem of quarterback Bryce Webster and receiver Heath Price connecting for touchdown pass plays covering 1 and 43 yards for a 28-0 cushion.
The duo added a third scoring toss-and-catch in the third frame, Carey added his third score of the night and senior Elijah Maklary put the wraps on Watertown’s 48-point outburst with a 57-yard interception return to the end zone on the final play of the third stanza.
Carey paced Watertown’s run game with 108 rushing yards in 13 carries with Zach Hill contributing 67 in four totes.
Price had five pass receptions for 93 yards with Webster completing 13 of 18 passes for 169 yards in three quarters of action.
Watertown’s defense stymied Gordonsville’s run game — limiting 2017 Class 1A Mr. Football finalist Braxton Givens to 45 yards in 12 carries and allowing the host Tigers only 27 rushing yards through three quarters.
“We came out and special teams got us a big score with the opening kickoff and that kind of helps both sides of the football,” Webster said. “We got a score and then we kind of stymied there. We went up 14-0 and then had to punt and had the couple of turnovers. We kind of went into the tank right there. Then we just started playing our type of ball.
“The guys came together. We had some adversity. I want to commend them on overcoming the adversity. We had two or three things in a row offensively that they could have shut down after. The defense played lights-out and pulled us out of the hole.”
Watertown will play host to Mt. Juliet Christian at 7 p.m. next Friday at Robinson Stadium in the Purple Tigers’ home opener.
Watertown 14 14 20 0 — 48
Gordonsville 0 0 0 8 — 8
W — Deramus Carey 86 yard kickoff return, Cole Miller kick, 11:48
W — Deramus Carey 29 run. Cole Miller kick, 6:50
W — Heath Price 1 pass from Bryce Webster. Cole Miller kick, 2:29
W — Heath Price 43 pass from Bryce Webster. Cole Miller kick, 0:22
W — Heath Price 24 pass from Bryce Webster. Kick failed, 7:25
W — Deramus Carey 5 run. Cole Miller kick, 4:20
W — Elijah Maklary 57 yard interception return. Cole Miller kick, 0:00
GV — Jalen Brown 40 run. Treyson Davis run, 6:22
RUSHING:Jalen Brown 4-63, Braxton Givens 12-45, Treyson Davis 2-15, Levi Halliburton 1-(-3), Taylor Thaxton 10-(-15).
RECEIVING:Matthew Thompson 1-23, Braxton Givens 1-14, Bill Washer 1-5, Skyshn Washer 1-5.
PASSING:Taylor Thaxton 4-10-1 47.
RUSHING:Deramus Carey 13-108, Zach Hill 4-67, Sam Wills 3-18, Brayden Cousino 1-11, Brandon Watts 3-(-3), Brandon Allen 1-(-4), Bryce Webster 2-(-16).
RECEIVING:Heath Price 5-93, Brandon Allison 2-24, Zach Hill 2-23, Elijah Maklary 3-20, Brandon Watts 1-9.
PASSING:Bryce Webster 13-18-1 169.
First Downs 9 17
Rushes-yards 29-105 27-181
Passing yards 47 169
Comp.-Att.-Int. 4-10-1 13-18-1
Total Offense 152 350
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
Punts-avg. 6-31.8 1-22.0
Penalties-yards 7-105 5-33