By JOHN W. PEELERSeptember 25, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (Sept. 25, 2013) -- Following last week's loss to Middle Georgia State College, last year's Intercollegiate Club Football Federation National Champions, the Fort Benning Doughboys bounced back in its home opener Saturday by defeating the North Georgia Sports Academy Mountaineers 38-24 at Doughboy Stadium.
Charles Bingham of E Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, accounted for three touchdowns Saturday and quarterback Adam Gallagher of D Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, passed for two touchdowns to lead the Doughboys in the win.
A week following a seven-point offensive performance, Doughboys coach Jason Gibson said one of his priorities going into the game was to make sure everyone did their assignments -- and it showed on the first offensive possession.
With intermittent rain, the Doughboys took the field in a four wide out, run-and-shoot formation and moved the ball downfield on a six-play drive culminating in a 22-yard scoring pass from Gallagher to Bingham. The point after was blocked, but Doughboys holder, Jesse Lawson of A Company, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, picked up the ball and ran it into the end zone for the 2-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Defensively, the Doughboys held the Mountaineers to one first down on its opening possession with the Doughboys turning the Mountaineers back on a fourth- and-3 from its own 43-yard line with a 7-yard loss.
Taking over on downs at the Mountaineers 36-yard line, Bingham powered his way into the end zone from 2 yards out for the Doughboys second score. The point after from Jared Engel of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was good and the Doughboys led 15-0.
Two possessions later, the Doughboys were knocking at the door again.
Following a Mountaineers' punt, the Doughboys moved the ball from 43-yard line down to the 5-yard line, and on fourth down Engel hit a 22-yard field goal for a 18-0 Doughboy lead.
The Mountaineers responded on their next possession by returning the ball on the subsequent kickoff to the Doughboys 9-yard line. Four plays later, the Mountaineers were on the scoreboard and with a failed point after, trailed 18-6 with 11:09 remaining in the half.
Fort Benning answered the call on its next possession.
From its own 36-yard line, the Doughboys put together a five-play, 64-yard drive with Shannon Poole from F Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, putting the final touch on the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run with 8:44 left in the half. The point after by Engel was good, and the Doughboys led 25-6.
The Mountaineers added one more score before the half, scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass and with a failed point after, trailed the Doughboys at intermission, 25-12.
With the rain beginning to pick up, the Doughboys and Mountaineers came out of halftime with neither team able to sustain a drive in the third quarter until the clock reached 2:55 remaining in the quarter.
North Georgia put together a six-play drive in the later part of the quarter, scoring on an 11-yard pass and with the successful point after, cut the Doughboy margin to one score at 25-18.
On the ensuing possession, the Doughboys, beginning at their own 39-yard line, marched down the field to the Mountaineers' 35-yard line, but on third-and-5 was intercepted at the Mountaineers' 10-yard line, but the Mountaineers were unable to move the ball any further than the Doughboys' 43-yard line and on fourth-and-17, quick kicked the ball to the Doughboys 10.
Mixing running and passing plays, the Doughboys went right back down the field en route to a seven-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown toss from Gallagher to Chris Charleston from B Company, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment. Engel added the extra point as the Doughboys extended their lead to 32-18.
Bingham added another touchdown, his third of the game, on a 41-yard touchdown run with 9:24 remaining and the Mountaineers added a touchdown with 6:27 remaining to round out the scoring.
"The No. 1 thing is, we won," Gibson said. "We played poorly last week … we just wanted to make sure we did our assignments and didn't give up any big plays."
Gibson said while he was pleased with the win, the team could have been sharper.
"We had a lot of penalties on offense," he said. "We kept killing ourselves with penalties."
Even with a run-and-shoot offense, Gibson stressed his desire for a run-first mentality while making sure there is still an even balance, which the team displayed during the win against North Georgia.
"I have a coach that charts how many times we run and pass," he said. "At the end of each quarter we look at making sure we maintain a balance."
The team also played better on defense, Gibson said.
"All week long our focus (on defense) was on being where you were supposed to be."
Up next for the Doughboys is a home game at Doughboy Stadium against the Faulkner University junior varsity team. The game is a rematch of the first game of the season in which the Doughboys won in a high-scoring affair, 56-42.
"They are a very well coached team," Gibson said. They will be well prepared … it will be a dog fight."
Kickoff for Saturday's game at Doughboy Stadium is 4 p.m.