Home Sports Local Sports Gateway Christian demolishes Mesilla Valley

Gateway Christian demolishes Mesilla Valley

Gateway Christians’ Gage Estes was unstoppable on Friday night. Here he catches a 47-yard TD pass from quarterback Wyatt Arlet in the first quarter as Gateway Christian rolled 52-0 over Mesilla Valley Christian at Warrior Stadium. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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If football fans have never seen Gateway Christian play eight-man football, they are missing a treat — one of the most moving tributes to playing football and trying to live up to being an ambassador to God. The Warriors carry a cross into their side of the field on their shoulders with music blaring. Then they bow and pray and after the prayer, every player takes his helmet off and lifts it to the sky where they touch each other as Gateway’s crowd stands to their feet. All of this before the football is kicked off.

Mesilla Valley Christian had no chance as the Warriors scored every time they had the ball in the first half, as they mercy-ruled the SonBlazers 52-0, Friday night at Warrior Stadium.

“I thought we came out (and) executed early,” Warrior coach Shaun Wigley said. “It was good to see.”

Wigley told his team they have two weeks of football left for the rest of their lives and asked them to dedicate themselves to film study, the weight room and to give everything they have to try to win the Blue Trophy after the game.

What was on all of the Warriors’ minds was how to beat Melrose, a team they had lost to earlier in the season, 38-36 at Melrose. On Friday they have the task of trying to knock them off and move on to the championship game. It is a showdown that every coach and player is looking forward to.

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The Warriors racked up over 200 yards rushing as senior Gage Estes could not be stopped on the ground. Estes scored three touchdowns on the night and added two 2-point conversions to go along with 125 yards rushing. Adding on the ground was quarterback Wyatt Arlet, who ran for over 100 yards and could not be stopped as he turned the corner breaking containment.

The Warriors took the ball and drove it the length of the field, as Arlet threw a 9-yard TD pass to tight end Luke Tipton with 9:43 in the first quarter. Rather than go for the PAT, Arlet faked a tight-end counter into the middle of the line of scrimmage and kept the ball and ran it in to give the Warriors an 8-0 lead.

“I’m excited,” Arlet said. “Melrose got the best of us the first time. We’ve been tuning up since that game ended and I think we have a pretty good shot at them (Melrose).

Estes scored from the Wildcat formation from the 14-yard line, as Jacob Truetken added the 2-point conversion to give the Warriors a 16-0 with 7:21 left in the first quarter. On the next possession, Arlet found Hurley Breedyk in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard TD with Estes catching the ball on the 2-point conversion to give the Warriors a 24-0 with 5:27 in the first half.

“This win means everything to me,” Truetken said. “This win sets the tone for the rest of postseason. The last time we played against Melrose, we came out flat, and that really hurt us. Their quarterback knows how to take what we give him — he knows how to hit the hole. Every lunch period we are going to each other’s houses and scheming and making sure everyone knows what to do. This next game means everything to me. When I was a freshman, I was the starting kicker and in the fourth quarter we were down by two points — and guess who they sent in to try and get the field goal? Guess who missed? I went home and cried for a week. This is payback right here. I’m ready to get that Blue Trophy, I’m tired of getting the Red Trophy. This means everything to me — I don’t have any other sports.”

On the Warriors’ next possession, Arlet found Estes again on a 47-yard pass for a TD. The 2-point conversion was no good as the Warriors had a commanding lead with 3:06 left to play in the first quarter.

“It means a lot to us,” Estes said, “to face Melrose. They have beaten us the past five years. When we take what we learned from that loss, it will help us out a lot. We say that’s a good loss because we can’t win every game, but we take what we learned from that game, and we made them up and fixed our mistakes.”

The SonBlazers had no answers as they went for a first down on their own 20-yard line, but failed to convert turning the ball over on downs. On the first play after getting the ball back, Arlet found Tipton down the sidelines for a 21-yard TD pass as Ayddin Shaw scored on a 2-point conversion giving the Warriors a 38-0 lead with 2:37 to play in the first quarter.

At that point, the game was over as the clock ran until halftime. Neither team scored in the first half. In the second half, the Warriors received the kickoff and on the third play of the half, Arlet threw a go route to a streaking wide open Jayden Stephens from 38-yards out with Estes adding the 2-point conversion to make the score 46-0 with 8:32 in the third quarter. On the next possession, Estes ran the ball in for a TD from 51 yards out to end the game, making the score 51-0 with 3:01 left as the game was called.

“I scored on a slant and go,” Stephens said. “I ran a slant and up and the defensive back bit real hard and I ran a slant and go the next time for a touchdown. Wyatt (Arlet) made a good throw. I’m ready for Melrose, the last time we played them it wasn’t the outcome we were looking for, but I believe we will play better this time. I know that it is starting to set in that I might only have one more game left in my career and I’m going to work a lot harder this week. I realize that tonight might have been my last game.”

Gateway Christian (8-1) will play Melrose in the semifinals at Melrose at 7 p.m. Friday.