By Adam Crocker/Sprits Correspondent
Trailing by six points late in the fourth quarter, Gaston scores with just over five minutes remaining to post a 27-26 victory over Cold Springs on Friday (Nov. 7) in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
The Bulldogs (8-3) travel to Ranburne (10-0) this week for a second round game
Cold Spring (8-3) had the ball at the Bulldog 14 yard-line at the start of the final quarter. Nicholas Rollo ran it in from 10 yards out but the Eagles failed on a two-point conversion attempt to keep the score at 26-20.
For the next five minutes and 40 seconds Gaston drove the field, led by runs by Mitchell Smith, Jashon Cammeron, Albert Douglas and Javonte Pope. Pope polished off the series with a 1-yarrd touchdown run, making it 27-26 with 5:11 remaining in the game.
Cold Springs took over but only was able to gain 10 yards, and an interception by Gabe Crain closed the deal for the Bulldogs.
“It just a good team effort,” said Gaston head coach Swane Morris said. “We made some adjustments and our kids made some heads up plays. Jordan’s completion down here wasn’t even to who it was supposed to go to. He just read it right and made a good play.”
Cold Springs started the game out strong with a several good runs by James Moore and Rollo. Rollo’s fourth and 1 conversion from the Gaston 6 set up the first score for the Eagles but with Trevor Slaytons’ PAT fell short for a 6-0 lead.
The Bulldogs answered 12 seconds later with a kickoff returned for a touchdown by Albert Douglas, making it 7-6.
The Eagle offense took over with 6:38 remaining in the first quarter but fumbled the ball away with 2:34 remaining, setting up another score for the hosts. Mitchell Smith, Jordan Douglass and Jashon Cammeron used their legs to set up another score for the home team, making it 13-6.
But a 14-yard touchdown run by Moore and a successful two-point conversion made it 14-13 in favor of Cold Springs. On the following kickoff the visitors decided to gamble with an onside kick. The Eagles recovered the ball, setting up a 26-yard score by Rolla that upped the score to 20-13.
Gaston got the ball back with four minutes remaining in the half but fumbled it only two plays into the drive. Cold Springs only had the ball for a short time as well, as their possession ended on an unsuccessful fourth down conversion attempt.
The Bulldogs didn’t wait the long to score in the second half. Smith took it into the end zone from 28 yards out, making it even at 20.
Cammeron finished with five carries for 42 yards, while Smith had carries for 45 yards.