STROUD – The Stroud Tigers ran away with the second round contest with the Gore Pirates by a lopsided score of 54 – 6.
Seeing as the Pirates entire starting lineup (21 players) from last year’s State runner-up squad graduated, the 2023 Pirates did very well to get to the second round of the State tournament.
It was a close contest through the first 12 minutes with the Tigers taking a slim 7-0 lead after the first quarter, but the usual staunch Pirates defense was suspect to the effective offense of the Tigers and that wore on them throughout the game.
The Tigers opening drive displayed a potent run game, and with 9:54 on the clock Jacob Beck split the Pirates defense and punched it in for the game’s opening score.
Just one minute into the second quarter a Gore fake punt on 4th and 8 from the Stroud 43 yard line was unsuccessful and Stroud took over at the Gore 49.
On the first play of the Tigers possession Aiden Collins caught a pass at the 25 yard line and took it to the end zone for the Tigers second score just one minute into the quarter. The extra point attempt failed, and the Tigers led 13-0.
On the ensuing Pirates possession, a Tate Brooksher pass found Journey Shells in the end zone for a 38-yard score. The extra 2-point try failed, but the Pirates were back to a 7-point deficit 13-6 with 9:09 remaining in the half.
Beck took the ball over the right side and outran the Pirates defense for a 21-yard rushing touchdown, his second of the game, and Seth Cline added the extra two points for a 21-6 Tiger advantage.
Before the half would end Stroud hit pay dirt once again on a drive that started at their own 10 yard line and ended with a 64-yard touchdown toss to Zeb Blancarte for a touchdown and a 29-6 Halftime lead for the Tigers.
In the second half Kason Presley would score twice on the rush, Collins on a pass for his second of the game and Blake Parrick through the center of Gore’s defense for the final score for Stroud.
With a relatively young lineup, we are looking forward to a strong 2024 season and another playoff run for the Pirates.