By Mike Easterling/Huntsville Times
A flurry of turnovers and big plays allowed Lee-Huntsville to take a two-touchdown lead at halftime over favored Gadsden City in the Class 6A, Region 7 opener for both football teams last Thursday (Sept. 6) in Huntsville.
But reality hit the Generals in the final two quarters.
The Titans (2-0, 1-0) quickly erased its halftime deficit and defeated the hosts, 35-20 at Milton Frank Stadium.
Lee got a 57-yard interception from Howard Middelbrooks to set up one score, and also got an 85-yard pick six from Tim Williams and a 79-yard kickoff return from Williams to set up another score as the Generals went into intermission with a 20-7 advantage.
But Gadsden City took the ground, didn’t throw a pass in the second half and simply wore Lee down.
Lee (1-1, 0-1) started the scoring off its first forced turnover.
Gadsden City took the opening kickoff and drove from its 30 to the General’s 31-yard line. On first down, Middlebrooks intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 57 yards to the Titans 12.
Three plays later, Hinds tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Robert Langham. A two-point pass from Hinds to Kieran Davis made it 8-0.
The teams swapped punts, and Gadsden City went on the move again and drove from its 24 to the Generals 22. But on third down from there, Williams intercepted a pass on the sideline and took it 85 yards for the score.
The conversion pass failed, and Lee led 14-0 with 8:30 left in the first half.
The Titans cut it to 14-7 on their next possession when Trevor Sandridge ran in from the 3 to cap a 68-yard, 13-play drive with 3:53 remaining in the first half.
Lee quickly answered when Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Hinds.
The two-point pass failed, and Lee led 20-7 at the 1:22 mark.
Williams recovered a Titans fumble two plays later at the Gadsden City 40, but the Generals couldn’t turn the turnover into points before the half ended.
Lee led entering the third quarter despite being outgained 185-56. But the Generals had the two interceptions, fumble and kickoff return while committing no turnovers.
It was all Gadsden City in the second half, as the Titans finished with a 395-67 advantage in total offensive yards.
Gadsden City got third-quarter touchdowns on a 1-yard run by Chris Lawrence, a 10-yard run by Sandridge and another 1-yard burst by Lawrence. In the fourth, Lawrence scored on a 35-yard run.
Sandridge finished with 174 yards on 25 carries.
The Titans continue region play nest Friday with their home opener against Oxford.