ROBERTSDALE — The Gulf Shores Dolphins were able to out-leg the Robertsdale Golden Bears Friday night, running past their 6A Region 1 rivals for a 27-13 victory on Homecoming night at J.D. Sellars Stadium.
“It was a big win for us,” said first-year head coach Mark Hudspeth. “Our kids fought hard and did what they had to do to get the victory. We had some costly penalties and gave up a couple of big plays defensively, but overall it was a quality win for us.”
The Dolphins did most of their damage on the ground, racking up 321 yards on 48 carries, led by Ronnie Royal with 183 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns, a lot of which came on direct snaps. Keeshon Siaosi added 133 yards on 13 carries for the Dolphins and Joseph Gardner added another score.
Quarterback Landon Jones finished the game 6 of 9 passing for 58 yards in the contest after completing 2 of 3 passes in the first half.
“Our offensive line did a great job against a good defense,” Hudspeth said. “And aside from giving up two big plays, our defense did a good job. (Robertsdale) is a good football team and this was a good win for us. We’re ready for a week off to give our guys some rest and prepare for the second half of the season.”
Robertsdale’s big plays kept the game close, scoring on an 82-yard run by Jay Racine just 54 seconds after Gulf Shores scored midway through the first quarter with a 32-yard run by Royal, capping an eight play, 46-yard drive with 6:06 remaining in the opening period.
Will Langston’s point-after gave the Dolphins a 7-0 lead before Racine’s run cut the margin to one, but the point-after attempt failed, leaving the score at 7-6 with 5:12 remaining in the first.
Gulf Shores answered back as Robertsdale’s kicking game gave head coach Kyle Stanford fits all night, giving Gulf Shores the ball in Bear territory at the 49.
Negative yardage and a penalty on third down, pushed the ball back to the Dolphin 49, but Siaosi exploded for 20 yards on third-and-long, followed by a 17-yard run to the Bear 14 and an eight-yard run on second down to the 3, where Gardner took it in on a direct snap and Langston’s PAT put the ‘Phins up 14-6 with 1:37 to play in the first quarter.
Neither team could gain traction offensively in the second quarter to leave the score at 14-6 at the half before Gulf Shores took the ball to open the second, marching 73 yards on 10 plays, finished off by a six-yard run by Royal and Langston’s extra point to go up 21-6 with 7:07 left in the third.
The Bears then answered with another big play as senior Haven Davis came in at quarterback and called his own number for a 78-yard touchdown run and Victor Gomez added the extra point to cut the lead to 21-13.
But that was as close as the game would get as Royal added his third TD of the night on a 10-yard run after the Bears again gave the Dolphins good field position inside enemy territory at the 41, going up 27-13 after a missed PAT with 8:08 remaining in the contest, holding on for victory.
Taven Curry led the Bears with 96 yards on 24 carries. Racine carried once more for a yard to finish with 83 yards on two carries, and Davis was sacked three times to finish with 63 yards on six carries.
The Bears, who fell to 2-3 overall, 1-2 in league play, will travel to Satsuma Friday and Eight Mile to take on the Blount Leopards Oct. 1 before returning home to face the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets on Thursday, Oct. 7.
Gulf Shores, now 3-2 overall and 1-2 in 6A Region 1, will get a week off before taking on the Citronelle Wildcats (Oct. 1) and Saraland Spartans (Oct. 8) before facing off against the BCHS Tigers at home Oct. 15 at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium.