By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
The roller coaster ride of a season continued for the Gadsden City High Titans last Friday (Nov. 2), as the host Titans escaped with a 27-21 win over Hewitt-Trussville.
Gadsden City travels to Bob Jones in Madison on Friday for the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
The Huskies made a game of what first appeared to be a GCHS blowout, as the Titans (6-4) led by 20 points with before a furious Hewitt rally fell just short.
GCHS head coach Joe Billingsley seemed happy that this game was behind his team.
“The 10th game is always a nightmare for a coach. But this is also a big rivalry game, and we wanted to keep them on our schedule. Hewitt-Trussville plays in a very tough region and is a better team than their record indicates.”
After C.J. Moore threw a 20-yard TD pass to Jordan Veasey to make it 27-7 with 10:57 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Huskies scored on their next two possessions to cut the deficit to 27-21.
First, Jeff Palmer capped a 71-yard, eight-play drive when he scored on a 10-yard run, and Griffin Wright kicked the PAT at the 9:50 mark of the fourth quarter.
Then, William Stokes took a pitch from Sam Miller and then found a wide-open Deshawn Ward for a 21-yard touchdown pass that cut the Titan lead to 27-21 with 6:17 left.
The Huskies had two more possessions but were unable to sustain a drive.
Gadsden City got on the scoreboard first, driving 85 yards in only five plays. Jaiye Miller scored on a 3-yard run and Austin Piazza added the PAT for a 7-0 Titan lead with 7:04 left in the first quarter.
The Titans added to their lead less than seven minutes later, this time on another 3-yard Miller TD run that capped a seven-play, 60-yard drive.
Piazza’s extra-point conversion extended the GCHS lead to 14-0 with 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Gadsden City added another score with 6:38 remaining before the half, driving 60 yards in eight plays to set up LeGerald Malone’s 31-yard run.
Piazza added his third PATof the night, and the Titans were cruising at 21-0.
But Hewitt-Trussville closed out the first half with a 14-play, 68-yard drive that culminated in Jordan Harwell’s one-yard TD run. Griffin Wright made the PAT to cut the Gadsden City lead to 21-7 at the half.
Gadsden City rushed the ball 48 times for 266 yards and added 82 passing for 348 yards of total offense.
Miller rushed five times for 69 yards, while Moore added 56 yards on 19 carries. Moore also was 7-of-13 in passing for 82 yards.
Harwell rushed 15 times for 63 yards. Miller was 23-of-33 in passing for 245 yards.