Gulliver finished with 29 yards of total offense.
The Raiders converted only three first downs.
But their defense did enough to score a 7-0 victory over Miami Edison that could end up being its most crucial victory of the season Friday afternoon at Sean Taylor Memorial Field.
Senior defensive back Cedrick Wright, a University of Miami commitment, timed his break perfectly, intercepted a pass and ran it back 72 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
That would be all the points Gulliver (3-3, 3-0 in District 8-4A) would need.
“It’s something we talk about all week with him, and we’re excited it paid off in the form of key points,” Gulliver coach Earl Sims said.
The victory puts Gulliver in position to win the district title if it can score a major upset in its next game Oct. 15 against reigning three-time state champion Booker T. Washington.
But Friday’s win means the Raiders are virtually assured a playoff berth no matter what happens against Booker T. assuming the Tornadoes win their other remaining district game against Edison or if Edison loses to Pace on Oct. 16.
“This was a great team win and our defense made the big plays for us,” Sims said. “We were able to run the clock on offense at least and keep theirs off the field.”
Gulliver might have finished with practically no offense.
But the key mistake it did not commit was turning the ball over.
Edison (4-2, 1-1) did, and paid the price.
Wright’s interception came shortly after Gulliver appeared to make a costly mistake on special teams.
Punter Ryan Batalha dropped to his knees to field a low snap and was whistled down, giving Edison the ball in Gulliver territory.
But Wright’s play swung the momentum early.
Batalha made up for it by averaging 38 yards per punt on seven attempts and often preventing Edison from gaining favorable field position.
Gulliver’s defense limited Edison to 101 total yards and held junior Eldridge Thomas to only 26 yards on 13 carries. Thomas entered the game leading Miami-Dade County in scoring with 10 touchdowns and was second in rushing with 675 yards.
“I’m proud of these guys sticking through and having enough pride to finish this one out,” Sims said.
GP - Wright 72 interception return (Batalha kick)
Rushing (att-yds) -- ED: St. Luc 3-(-3), Gaiter 2-7, Pena 3-17, Thomas 13-26, Moise 6-33. GP: Gautier 2-(-13), Batalha 1-(-12), Serbin 3-(-3), Hassan 2-0, Jackson 4-0, Guillou 1-1, Herskowitz 7-19, Burns 10-37.
Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- ED: St. Luc 3-8-1, 21. GP: Serbin 1-2-0, 0, Gautier 0-1-0, 0.
Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- ED: Thomas 2-10, Guyton 1-11. GP: Mayfield 1-0.