Courtesy of al.com
Brewer Hicklen led Huntsville back from a 21-point halftime deficit to Gadsden City, only to fall short 42-41 in overtime in the Class 6A, Region 7 game.
Combined with Pell City’s loss, the win gave the Titans (5-4, 5-2) the region’s third playoff seed. GCHS travels to Bessemer City on Nov. 8 for a first round game.
Gadsden City’s Ahmad DeRamus rushed for 178 yards and a touchdown and passed for two more scores.
The Titans scored first, marching 74 yards in seven plays, capped by DeRamus’ 8-yard pass to Dante Rudolph.
Huntsville (5-4, 4-3) came right back and moved the ball 69 yards in eight plays. Hicklen finished the drive with a 10-yard slant pass to Cooper Constan for a touchdown to tie score 7-7 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.
The Titans and Panthers traded touchdown drives on their next possessions. Rudolph scored on a 4-yard run for the Titans, while and Panthers running back Colton Shultz scored on a 51-yard run.
Gadsden City took over the rest of the first half, scoring three touchdowns in its final three possessions.
DeRamus hit Terrell Malone from 12 yards out, Rudolph added a 4-yard run and DeRamus ended the half with a 1-yard sneak with no time left to give the Titans a 35-14 lead.
The Panther defense shut down the Titans in the second half, allowing the Huntsville to storm back with 21 points.
Hicklen scored on a 1-yard sneak, capping a 10-play, 85-yard drive. Hicklen then shook off several Titan defenders on the Panthers’ next possession for a 61-yard sprint to cut the lead to 35-28.
Hicklen completed the comeback with a 26-yard strike to Ron Eady to tie the score 35-35 with 6:44 left in the fourth quarter.
Gadsden City had two chances in the last minute of regulation to win the game, but the Titans missed field goal attempts from 35 and 27 yards to send the game into overtime.
Gadsden City scored first in overtime on Rodney Bozeman’s 15-yard touchdown run. David Webb was good on the extra point, giving the Titans a 42-35 lead.
Huntsville needed only two plays to score on Hicklen’s 1-yard run. Huntsville chose to go for two on the conversion, but Hicklen’s pass fell short and the Titans escaped for a spot in the playoffs.
Gadsden City finishes out the regular season on Friday at Hewitt-Trussville.