The Toll Gate Titans traveled to Tiverton on Sunday evening and beat the Tigers, 42-13. It was quarterback Anthony Vann’s first appearance since he sprained his shoulder on Sept. 15 in a game against Smithfield. After missing three games, Vann didn’t miss a beat, rushing in three touchdowns and passing for another.
Toll Gate received the ball first and got right to work. Starting from its own 20, on first down, Vann completed a pass up the middle to Michael Negri, and the running back took it to the 36. On the next two plays, Vann ran 16 yards to the Tiverton 48 while continuing to move the chains. Then, Vann tossed to an open Qyon Pichardo, and the wide receiver took it all the way into pay dirt and gave the Titans a 7-0 edge with 10:40 remaining in the first quarter.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Tiverton was backed up deep in its own territory when starting quarterback and punter Matthew Gacioch punted to the Tiverton 42, where Toll Gate took over.
On the first play of the series, Vann used a keeper and sprinted all the way into the end zone and extended the Titans’ lead to 13-0 with 11:37 left in the first half.
Tiverton got on the board with 1:26 remaining in the half. Toll Gate was deep in its own zone when on fourth down, Datyn Deasley had his punt blocked by Tiverton’s Michael Keating, and then his teammate, Daniel Garde, pounced on it in the end zone to score a touchdown to pull Tiverton within 13-6.
Tiverton would tie it on the opening drive of the third quarter. It started with a big return from wide receiver Adam Amaral to the Toll Gate 40. On first down, running back David Williams rushed 11 yards. On the next play, the senior back rushed again, this time for a 19-yard gain to the Titans’ 10. Three plays after that, Gacioch connected with Amaral in the end zone to tie the game at 13.
However, it was all Toll Gate after that. The Titans drove 89 yards on their next possession to score a touchdown. The series saw Vann plow forward for a first down on a third-and-1 at the Tiverton 39. The signal caller finished the drive with two keepers, one for 11 yards to the 3 and then the next into pay dirt, giving the Titans a 21-13 lead with 5:36 left in the third.
Toll Gate forced Tiverton into a three-and-out on its next possession and the Titans got the ball back and put more points on the board.
On third-and-9 from Toll Gate’s 36-yard line, Negri busted out a 19-yard scamper for a first down at the Tiverton 45. A few plays after that, Vann pitched it to Kenny Morel, who took it 10 yards to the 35. Four plays later, Morel rushed into the end zone from 24 yards out and gave the Titans a 27-13 lead with 11:47 remaining in the game.
Tiverton came close to getting a touchdown on its next drive. Though, on third down from the Titans’ 10, Gacioch’s pass into the end zone was picked off by Toll Gate sophomore A.J. Ucci, Jr. It was the second interception of the game for Gacioch, who had a pass picked off by Matt Martinez earlier in the contest.
The Titans took over at their own 34. With the ball at the Tiverton 22, Vann struck again, running in a keeper and extending the Toll Gate lead to 35-13 with 7:33 to play.
Toll Gate’s last touchdown came with a little over five minutes to play when Titans’ junior Chris Souza hammered Williams, forcing the Tiverton running back to fumble and Negri scooped it up and took it 22 yards into the end zone while extending the Toll Gate lead to 42-13.
Toll Gate improves to 3-3 on the season. Its next game is on Saturday at 10 a.m. against Coventry at Emo DiNitto Field at Toll Gate High School.