Gaither takes charge in the first meeting of new district foes.
By ROD GIPSON
Published September 17, 2005
NEW PORT RICHEY - The question heading into the Gaither-Mitchell game was how each team would fare against the unknown it would face in an unfamiliar opponent. The answer came fairly quickly as Gaither opened the game with a precise 75-yard touchdown drive that would be a sign of things to come.
Behind the running of Jonathan Davis, the passing of John Chestnut and the Cowboys taking advantage of numerous Mitchell miscues, Gaither (3-0, 1-0) rolled to a 28-0 win in the inaugural meeting of new Class 5A, District 5 foes.
"We played a complete game but we still have to sharpen our skills," Gaither coach Mark Kantor said. "They're (Mitchell) a good football team."
As good as Gaither's offense was, its defense got plenty of help. Mitchell (2-2, 0-1) fumbled three times, had an interception, and had receivers drop three passes in the end zone.
Mitchell's first fumble in the first quarter led to a 22-yard touchdown run from Davis that stretched Gaither's lead to 14-0. The third quarter saw more Gaither scoring as Chestnut hooked up with wideout Torrey Esalomi on 25- and 21-yard scoring passes. The touchdowns came nine seconds apart as the Mustangs failed to cover the ensuing kickoff after the first score, giving the ball right back to Gaither.
Davis finished the game with 137 yards rushing while Chestnut passed for 283 yards. Mitchell was led by sophomore quarterback Tate Humphrey, who completed 12 of 29 passes for 153 yards and ran for another 92 yards.