Fifth-ranked Gilbert High came out firing on all cylinders Friday, defeating host Scottsdale Horizon, 49-16, in a 5A-I nonregion game.
Through its first five games of the season, Gilbert has averaged just over 36 points per game. The Tigers (5-1) surpassed that midway through the second quarter with 42 points against the Huskies.
The Tigers showcased their running and passing games equally throughout the game. Gilbert torched the Huskies (1-4) for 232 yards and four touchdowns rushing on the ground, and added 168 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
“We played really well, offense, defense,” Gilbert coach Jesse Parker said.
Junior running back Bret Crowe capped off a big first quarter for the running game with a 67-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead after Brandon Christie’s point after.
“He’s run hard all year,” Parker said. “He’s a very good safety, but he’s also a very good running back. Bret’s just a tough kid and one of our leaders.”
Crowe rushed for two touchdowns in the first quarter and finished the game with 98 yards rushing, all in the first quarter.
Not wanting to be outdone, sophomore quarterback Brandon Bialkowski had a huge second quarter to give the Tigers a commanding lead.
Bialkowski had an efficient game, completing 4 of his 6 passes for a total of 139 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought he was right on target today,” Parker said. “He had some deep throws and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to stretch people out.”
Each of Bialkowski’s touchdowns went for 39 yards. Sophomore Jesse Brantley and senior Jordan Lesueur’s each were on the receiving end of those throws. Lesueur also had a reception for 34 yards on the same drive he caught his touchdown.
“He hasn’t been our most productive receiver, but he’s (Lesueur) coming along,” Parker said.
Brantley also caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from junior Shane Matsen on a trick play in the second quarter.
The defense helped put the Huskies on their heels early, forcing a three-and-out on Horizon’s first drive by swarming to receivers and hurrying quarterback Ryan Stanford.
“I thought our defense was especially effective against their throwing game and I thought it was a great overall performance,” Parker said.