ERWIN Cardinal Gibbons got a huge night from quarterback Shawn Stankavage to advance past Triton 44-28 in the 3AA East playoffs.
Stankavage threw four touchdowns in the first half and added one more on the ground and another by air in the second half. He carved up the Hawks' defense on 26-of-33 passing for 281 yards and 117 yards rushing on 18 carries.
Triton (9-3) started the game with an onsides kick, which it recovered, and then drove 50 yards to the game’s first points on a 9-yard touchdown run from D’angelo Harris (11 carries, 107 yards).
Gibbons capped off a 18-play drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Shawn Stankavage to James Sriraman. On the extra point, Stankavage – the holder – flipped a shovel pass across his body to kicker Brandon Loy standing about 10 yards away in the end zone to go up 8-7.
The first quarter couldn’t end on a penalty – a 5-yard facemask on Triton – so Gibbons lined up with no time on the clock and Stankavage used that play to find Earl Gill or a 17-yard touchdown to lead 15-7 going into the second period.
Gibbons padded its lead before halftime on a 27-yard field goal by Loy, a 32-yard touchdown pass from Stankavage to Dante DiMaggio and a 25-yard strike from Stankavage to Gill.
Dante DiMaggio (8 catches, 114 yards) went over the 1,000-yard mark for the year and Gibbons led 31-7 at halftime.
The Hawks and Crusaders traded touchdowns in the second half.
The Hawks scored on a 3-yard touchdown run from Jeremy Legget, but Stankavage answered with a weaving 27-yard touchdown.
Triton had a 5-yard touchdown pass from Leggett to Chris Eason answered with a
Triton’s first drive of the second half ended in a 3-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Leggett, but it was answered with a weaving 27-yard scoring run by Stankavage.
The Hawks cut into the lead on a 5-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-goal from Leggett to Chris Eason, but Stankavage’s fifth touchdown pass of the night went to DiMaggio.
Triton’s final score was another 5-yard pass from Leggett to Eason.
The Crusaders (9-3) were the 10-seed visiting the 7-seed.
Gibbons will play at Big Eight Conference foe Southern Durham in the next round. Southern won the first meeting 45-28.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps