Italy wins district opener 40-7

Image: Mascots — The Frost Polar Bear welcomes The Gladiator.

Mascots — The Frost Polar Bear welcomes The Gladiator. (Anne Sutherland)

FROST — The Italy Gladiators came away with their second win of the season Friday night with a 40-7 win over the Frost Polar Bears. Clay Major led the Gladiators with 79 yards on five carries and three of them for touchdowns.

Italy set the tone early in the game and never let up. With only 35 seconds off the clock, Jasenio Anderson hit Heath Clemons with a 29-yard touchdown pass. Kick failed.

“He threw me a pretty good pass for the touchdown,” said Clemons. “We had good blocking on the line tonight, too.”

The Gladiator defense caused problems for Frost all night long. Their trouble started on the first play of their opening drive when a Clay Major hit caused Christian DeJean to lose the ball. Bobby Wilson recovered the fumble to give Italy great field position on the Frost 14-yard line. Major scored on a 4-yard scamper and Anderson hit Diamond Rodgers with a two-point conversion pass to give Italy a 14-0 lead.

Italy would enjoy a 28-0 halftime lead compliments of Major who added a 29-yard and a 4-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Both of Anderson’s PATs hit their mark.

The Gladiators delivered more of the same in the second half by dominating the game on both sides of the ball. With many of the Italy starters on the sidelines, the defense was still relentless in their quest for the ball. John Isaac intercepted a Sam Stroder pass intended for Travis Cassady and bolted 38 yards before the Frost defense stopped him on the 3-yard line. Dontavius Clemons finished the drive with a 1-yard TD. PAT failed.

On the first play of the final period, Italy hit pay dirt again. Heath Clemons found the end zone on a 24-yard keeper to give Italy a 40-0 lead.

The Polar Bears began their final drive on their own 20. The Italy defense tried to keep them out of the end zone, but the Polar Bears never gave up. With only a minute remaining in the game with his team on the 3-yard line, Stroder did not want to give up without a fight. He took the snap and headed for the end zone. When the Italy defense blocked his route, he would change direction finding himself 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He spotted a hole and drove through it to put Frost on the scoreboard. Sam Melendez’s successful PAT added one more to the roars of the hometown fans.

“This was a good start to district,” said Coach Craig Bales. “I would like to have seen us be crisper in the first half, but I am very proud of our effort. Our JV players stepped up tonight and did a good job also.”

Italy’s next game is at home on October 10, 2008 when they host Axtell at 7:30 p.m.



Clay Major — 5/79/3 TDs
Jasenio Anderson — 8/73
John Isaac — 2/55
Justin Hayes — 2/36
Heath Clemons — 3/35/1 TD
Dontavius Clemons — 4/10/1 TD


Ty Ritterbach — 14/38
Christian DeJean — 12/32
Sam Melendez — 3/14
Sam Stroder — 5/8/1 TD
Anthony Anaya — 10/-2



Jasenio Anderson — 3/10/63/1 TD


Sam Stroder — 3/7/74

Players of the Game

MVP — Clay Major
Offense — Clay Major
Defense — Jonathan Nash
Catch — Heath Clemons
Thief — John Isaac
Block — Offensive Line
Hit — Justin Hayes
Beef — Ryan Ashcraft
Heart — Heath Clemons
Standout — Curtis Coles