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GIBSON CITY — Never before during Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley football’s more than two-season-long winning streak had the Falcons faced a halftime deficit.

That changed Friday night.

Unfazed, the two-time defending Class 2A state champions shook off a slow first half en route to a 32-8 home victory over Ford County rival Paxton-Buckley-Loda.

The Falcons — now winners of 29 straight games — erased an 8-7 halftime deficit by scoring 25 consecutive points.

“We told them at halftime we shot ourselves several times in the foot,” GCMS coach Mike Allen said. “We just have to correct mistakes. PBL came out and played tough.”

After Cade Elliott came up with an interception on the first play of the second half, Aidan Laughery scored on a 13-yard touchdown run to give GCMS (1-0) a 13-8 lead with 9:25 left in the third quarter.

That followed a first half in which Laughery had six carries.

“We had to pick those carries up, and we corrected some things on the line,” Allen said. “Our line did a great job, and then Aidan did an outstanding job of running and making some holes for himself.”

Laughery made up for lost time in the second half, rumbling for 124 yards and three touchdowns.

The Falcons also cashed in on three takeaways in the second half, with PBL turning the ball over in its own territory each time.

“There were a couple of mistakes we need to finish off. We’re going to be all right,” first-year Panthers coach Josh Pritchard said. “GCMS is just really good, and there’s a reason they’re No. 1 (in Class 2A).”

News-Gazette