Etowah High School head football coach Drew Noles said that 6-foot-6, 240-pound senior defensive end Jamin Graham is not committed to any college as of yet.
Noles added that he never has seen a player more committed to his team and to his grandfather.
Graham turned that commitment into two defensive touchdowns in the final 1:15 of the Blue Devils’ season-opening 32-23 victory over Gadsden City on Aug. 23.
Graham’s grandfather, longtime Attalla City Schools teacher, bus driver and coach James Graham, passed away on Aug. 18. Mr. Graham’s funeral was held the next day.
“It was just an amazing effort,” Noles said. “Jamin was extremely close to his grandfather, who was a legend in the town to Attalla. Jasmin dedicate that game to his grandfather. Hs is a great kid from a great family. I think it was the best game of his high school career.”
Jasmin Graham’s performance grabbed the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for the first week of the AHSAA high school football season.
Holding a 23-20 lead late in the game, GCHS put together a goal-line stand and stopped Etowah on four downs inside the 2-yard line. With 1:15 remaining, however, the Titans had an errant snap sail into the end zone, where Graham was there to recover for an Etowah touchdown. Gadsden City drove quickly into Etowah territory following the kickoff, but with eight seconds remaining, Graham sacked the GCHS runner at the Blue Devils 25-yard line, forcing a fumble that he scooped up and returned for the game’s final touchdown.
Noles expected the packed crowd on hand to storm the field in celebration.
“Instead, I think they were standing up in awe,” he said. “I was so happy for Jamin that it brought tears to my own eyes. But Jamin just acted like he’d done this kind of thing many times before.”
The win was Etowah’s first over Gadsden City since the school was formed by merging Gadsden, Emma Sansom and Litchfield in 2006. The two schools met four times (2006-09) with the Titans winning all four, but discontinued the series until this season.
In addition, Westbrook Christian senior quarterback Jackson Cox was recognized for completing 7-of-12 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown in the Warriors’ 35-6 victory over Coosa Christian on Aug. 24.