Terrell Skinner takes a punt back for a touchdown as time expires to shock the Gladiators.
By AARON THOMAS
Published October 2, 2004
GULFPORT - Terrell Skinner's 46-yard punt return for a touchdown as time expired lifted Boca Ciega to an 18-17 victory over Gibbs.
With the win, the Pirates took over first place in the Class 5A, District 10 standings.
"Before the play, I was mad because on the last play I ran when I was supposed to pitch the ball," Skinner said. "It's an unbelievable feeling."
The Gladiators gained control of the game early in the first. Dalibor Brnada's 30-yard field goal capped an 11-play, 60-yard opening drive and gave the Gladiators a 3-0 lead.
The second quarter saw three lead changes as both offenses ignited. Despite committing two fumbles in the quarter, including one inside the Gibbs' 20, the Pirates rushing game bounced back and took the lead on Skinner's first touchdown, a 33-yard run.
The Gladiators (2-2) responded through the air to the Pirate score. Quarterback Josh McKinnon, who completed 15 of 24 passes for 114 yards, connected with Brandon Shorter on a 36-yard touchdown reception, his first of two touchdowns. The score capped a 48-yard drive with 2:52 left in the half.
The Pirates grabbed their second lead with 1:31 left in the half, on a Clifford Smith 19-yard run, which made the score 12-10 at halftime.
The Gladiator rushing game provided the third quarter's only score. Jerrel Young's 10-yard run put Gibbs back in the lead going into the fourth.
The Pirate defense stepped up in the fourth. After the Pirates failed to convert on fourth down, the defense forced a three-and-out on the Gladiators, setting up Skinner's winning run.
"This is absolute proof that you never, ever quit," said Pirates coach Jean Gordon to his team after the game. "No matter what might be in your face, you don't quit."