Titans fall short at Auburn

Courtesy of al.com

Tyus Flakes rushed for 135 yards as Class 6A eighth-ranked Auburn overcame a 13-0 first-quarter deficit to defeat Gadsden City 16-13 on Friday (Sept. 27) in a non-region game.

Auburn quarterback Bradley Northcutt overcame two first-quarter interceptions, including one returned 50 yards for a touchdown by Titans cornerback Breylon Willis, to throw for a game-high 173 yards. 

Trailing 13-9 late in the third period, Northcutt’s 61-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Sikes gave Auburn (4-1) a 16-13 advantage.

Even after Auburn scored 16 unanswered points, the Titans didn’t go away. Dante Rudolph returned a kickoff 64 yards – capped with a personal foul – to give Gadsden City possession at the Auburn 27.

But Auburn slammed the door on the Titan scoring threat when defensive back Antreal Allen intercepted Ahmad DeRamus with a diving catch at the Tigers’ 1-yard line.

Behind Flakes’ ground game, Auburn marched to the Titans’ 18, where kicker Sage Ledbetter, who tied a state record with five field goals in a game just three weeks ago, had an opportunity to give Auburn a six-point lead. Instead, the 35-yard attempt was blocked by Titans’ lineman Malik Jelks.

Trailing by three with 1:17 remaining, Gadsden City (2-3) took possession one final time at its 28. A third-down pass from Jay Copeland to Terrell Malone covered 28 yards and drove the Titans to the Tiger 48 with 50 seconds remaining. 

Gadsden City reached the Auburn 26, but drove no further as Gabriel Ford was tackled as time expired after a 10-yard reception.

Gadsden City returns to Class 6A, Region 7 play next week at home against Pell City.

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