SALLISAW– It started out great for the Gore Pirates Friday night, but things turned around resulting in the first loss of the season.
Gore won the toss, elected to defer to the second half, and recovered a Central fumble on the first play from scrimmage. That led to the first score of the game when on fourth and goal from the Tigers 2 yard line, Tate Brooksher charged the goal line and what first appeared to be short was called a touchdown by the referee,
A successful 2-point conversion followed on a fake kick and a Brooksher toss to the right corner of the endzone for a 8-0 Pirate lead.
The first Central drive culminated with a Joseph Lee keeper breaking tackles over his left sideline for an 8-yard touchdown run.
A 2-point try to tie the game fell short and the Pirates maintained a slim 8-6 advantage with 4:09 remaining in the opening period.
The next Pirate drive resulted in a three-and out as the Tiger defense stiffened.
Central’s possession went to the Gore 3 yard line when the quarter ended and after they changed ends of the field. Then on a third down Coy Blackburn broke through the Pirate defense at 10:17 for a touchdown and a 12-8 advantage they would never relinquish.
Later in the second, a 28-yard Lee pass to Cade Tucker set the Tigers up for their next score on a Lee scramble over the right side for an 8-yard touchdown run. Lee’s second of the night, and a 20-8 lead. With 4:18 left in the half.
The big momentum changer came when a Central on-side kick was recovered by Isaac Rodgers keeping the Pirates offense the field for the remainder of the half.
Joseph Lee compiled 130 yards total in the first half and Coy Blackburn rushed for 88 and a touchdown. The Tigers totaled 218 yards of offense in the half while keeping the Pirates to only 52 total yards.
There was no scoring in the third quarter, but with 6:21 left in the game Lee scrambled in from the 8 for his third touchdown of the night and a 26-8 Tiger lead.
With 3:38 remaining in the game a Brooksher to Journey Shells 48-yard bomb went for a score but it was too little too late for the Pirates as the fell to Central 26-16
The Pirates will travel to Panama next week to take on the Razorbacks (4-3) and Central will travel to Talihina to test the 4-3 Tigers.