By Ryan Kuhn
Coming into their fourth game of the season, Crystal Springs Uplands of Hillsborough averaged 56 points a game.
On Saturday, Stuart Hall’s defense held the Gryphons to their lowest point total of the season, but could not capitalize in a 24-16 loss at Treasure Island.
Stuart Hall’s defense got started right away when the Knights (5-1) sacked Crystal Springs quarterback William Carlson three times on its opening drive.
During the first quarter, the Knights only allowed Crystal Springs (4-0) to gain 40 yards, including a stop on the Stuart Hall 12-yard line.
“Their defense was beating us up,” said Crystal Springs head coach Kevin Thorson. “They were physical and probably the best team we have played all year.”
Early in the second quarter, the Gryphons were able to break through, when Carlson found wide receiver Alex Galvin for a 34-yard touchdown to break the scoreless tie.
Stuart Hall quarterback Laboyd Ricard blended a mixture of passing and running and finished the game passing for 169 yards.
“I didn’t think I performed as well as I could have,” Ricard said. “I just need to keep my head straight and play my game.”
The Knights stuck with a passing game in the second half and found the end zone early, scoring on the opening drive when Ricard found running back Ethan Hankins for a 25-yard score to give Stuart Hall a 8-6 lead.
“We told them at half time just to keep playing hard and stop making mistakes,” said Stuart Hall head coach Richard Robinson.
Crystal Springs responded with two consecutive touchdowns to take a 18-8 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Kights answered back when Ricard hit Tray’von Hicks on a 45-yard screen pass for a score.
Stuart Hall had one last chance with six minutes remaining, but three consecutive incomplete passes spelled doom for the Knights.
CS: 11:43 — Alex Galvin 34-yard pass from William Carlson (conversion failed)
SH: 10:37 – Ethan Hankins 25-yard pass from Laboyd Ricard (conversion good)
CS: 7:58 – Carlson 26-yard run (conversion failed)
CS: 9:56 — Richard Livingston 24-yard pass from Carlson (conversion failed)
SH: 8:53 — Tray’von Hicks 45-yard pass from Ricard (conversion good)
CS: 6:12 — Galvin 11-yard pass from Carlson (conversion failed)