MERIDIAN, Texas — Cody Medrano leads the way on defense as Italy’s high powered offense was unstoppable against Meridian.
The opening kickoff had Italy pinned deep in Gladiator territory. Two 15-yard scrambles by quarterback Eric Carson and a 12-yard run by tailback Treyvon Robertson setup a 57-yard touchdown pass from Eric Carson to halfback Justin Wood. The conversion failed and Italy had the early lead 6-0.
Kicker Kevin Roldan’s onside kick on the next play was recovered by Justin Wood at the Meridian 35-yard line. Offensive miscues left Italy with fourth down and 17 yards to go when Eric Carson completed a second touchdown pass to Justin Wood covering 35 yards. The two-point conversion by Treyvon Robertson was good and Italy was now leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Kevin Roldan’s following kickoff was misplayed and an alert Meridian player scooped up the pigskin and turned it into a touchdown, getting the Yellow Jackets on the board. Any momentum gained by Meridian on the turn of events was squandered when defensive end Cody Medrano sacked the Meridian quarterback for a 15-yard loss on the conversion try.
With the score now 14-6 and Italy still leading, Treyvon Robertson returned the Meridian kick for 80 yards. Italy’s offense stumbled backwards on a couple of plays, losing 10 yards. Then Eric Carson connected with Trevon Robertson for a 30-yard touchdown completion to increase the Gladiator advantage 20-6.
Kevin Roldan pinned the Meridian offense deep with his next kickoff. Meridian tried to dig out of the hole but Gladiator defenders Cody Medrano, Kevin Roldan, Eric Carson and Darol Mayberry were too strong. Italy took over on downs at the 50-yard line. The Gladiators were driving toward the end zone once again when Eric Carson’s pass attempt to Treyvon Robertson was intercepted. Once again, Meridian’s newfound momentum was stalled when Cody Medrano sacked the Meridian quarterback for a 19-yard loss back at the Jacket’s 1-yard line. The first half ended with Italy in control 20-6.
Kevin Roldan’s onside kick to start the third quarter was recovered by Justin Wood on the Meridian 40-yard line. The next play, Eric Carson dashed untouched through the middle of the Jacket’s defense for a 40-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion by Justin Wood was successful and it gave Italy a 28-6 lead.
Hank Seabolt, Robert Dellinger, Darol Mayberry and Cody Medrano remained stingy on defense and Italy got the ball once more. On the first offensive play of the possesion, Justin Wood avoided tacklers in the backfield and broke out down the right sideline for a 45-yard touchdown run giving Wood his third touchdown of the game. Deiondre Cochran made the two-point conversion and the Gladiators went on to beat the Yellow Jackets 36-6.
Information provided by Gary Wood.
Eric Carson — over 150 passing yards, 80 rushing yds
Justin Wood — 120 rushing yards, 3 TD catches, 1 TD rushing
Treyvon Robertson — 80 yard kick return
Justin Wood — Recovered two onside kicks