Quarterback Davey Emala has proved this season that he is the key to the Gilman offense.
The senior has been dangerous running the ball and has established himself as a leader. In the Greyhounds' game last night at Poly, Emala uncharacteristically fumbled the ball on his third carry and heard all about it from his coach.
"When he fumbled, I really got after him," Gilman coach Biff Poggi said. "Because my expectations for him are extremely high, and our kids' expectations of him are extremely high. He responded like he is, a complete champ."
Like a true leader, Emala rose to the occasion, shredding the Engineers' defense and leading Gilman to a 21-8 victory.
"The offensive line every week is doing more than anybody," said Emala, who finished with 140 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. "We get 1-yard gains, 2-yard gains, and then we break one, and that's how our system works."
Emala had runs of 20, 21, 21 and 23 yards. His first big run came early in the second quarter, when the offensive line created a large hole up the middle and he scampered 23 yards for the first score of the game.
The No. 8 Greyhounds (5-1) were ahead 14-0 at halftime, thanks to a 10-play, 79-yard drive with a minute left in the second quarter, ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by Malik Compton. While Gilman's possessions were culminating in long touchdown drives, the No. 13 Engineers (4-2) had trouble moving the ball.
"I thought the defense played really well and had a great week of preparation," Poggi said. "Poly's offense is a hard offense because it's a lot like Navy's in that it's so unique you don't see it. It's very hard to find out where the ball is, and I think our kids played assignment football, and that's what really helped."
Midway through the third quarter, Greyhounds running back Woody Williams leaped into the end zone from the 1-yard line for a 21-0 lead. Poly answered quickly on the next possession when quarterback Antoine Goodson (6-for-11, 65 yards) faked a handoff to Renard Lewis and pitched to Darius White, who sprinted untouched down the left sideline for Poly's lone score.
White led Poly with eight carries for 68 yards and three receptions for 47 yards.