By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Gadsden City made a brief stop in the Class 6A state playoffs last Friday (Nov. 9) in Madison, suffering a 35-30 defeat at the hands of Bob Jones.
The Titans (6-5) were treated to a rude welcome by Bob Jones, as the Patriots raced out to a 28-3 lead after one quarter and led 35-10 at the break before a furious comeback by Gadsden City cut the lead to five points at game’s end.
“We put ourselves in a hole and had to come out passing in the second half,” said GCHS head coach Joe Billingsley. “We did a poor job executing in the first half, but our kids showed a lot of character in the way they fought back.”
The hosts took the opening kickoff and drove 51 yards in only four plays for the first score of the evening.
On first and 10 from the Titan 40-yard line, Dustin Haraway threw a touchdown strike to Ryan Crooks.
David Mitchell booted the PAT, and Bob Jones led 7-0 with 10:50 to go in the first quarter.
The Titans then fumbled on their third play from scrimmage, giving Bob Jones the ball at the Titan 15.
It took the Patriots only three plays to add to their point total when Kevin Wright scored on a seven-yard TD run, and Bob Jones led 14-0 with 8:52 to go in the opening quarter.
Bob Jones added seven more when Kevin Wright threw a 22-yard halfback pass to Thomas Joa for the Patriots’ third TD of the quarter, and Bob Jones led 21-0 less than six minutes into the contest.
Gadsden City finally dented the scoreboard when Austin Piazza kicked a 38-yard field goal with 4:23 to go in the opening stanza.
Bob Jones wasted little time responding when Wright rambled 25 yards for a score, and the Patriots were cruising at 28-3 with 3:39 to go in the first quarter.
Bob Jones scored with 7:08 to go in the first half when Wright hauled in a 70-yard touchdown pass for a 35-3 lead.
Gadsden City answered with 1:30 to go before intermission, driving 64 yards in nine plays. Trevor Sandridge scored on a five-yard run to draw within 35-10 at the half.
Gadsden City came out of the break a different team, as the Titans held Bob Jones to only two first downs in the second half.
The Titans went 68 yards in 13 plays, culminating in C.J. Moore’s 10-yard touchdown run. Following Piazza’s PAT, the Titan’s were back in the game at 35-17. The score held up until the fourth quarter.
With 9:24 remaining in the game, Finesse Middleton intercepted a Patriot’s screen pass and returned it 49 yards for a TD, cutting the Patriot lead to 35-23 following a failed two-point conversion attempt.
The Titans quickly got the ball back and drove 77 yards in hint plays to reach pay dirt once again. Moore scored on a 12-yard run, and following Piazza’s extra point the Titans trailed only 35-30 with 2:56 remaining in the game.
Bob Jones attempted to run out the clock but turned the ball over on downs at their own 33 with 2:10 remaining.
Gadsden City arrived at the Patriot 12 three plays later with a first and ten, but two penalties and two huge losses saw the Titan’s facing a fourth and 47 from the 47. Moore’s pass fell incomplete, leaving the GCHS comeback 12 yards short.
Moore was 25-of-38 in passing for 296 yards. He also carried the ball 21 times for 53 yards.