Courtesy of Anniston Star
Gaston, the No. 3 seed out of Class 2A, Region 7, held off Pleasant Valley, 40-33, on Thursday (Oct. 29) at PVHS.
The Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3) didn’t make it easy on the Raiders (0-10, 0-7, with Jashun Cammeron returning the opening kickoff 81 yards for the opening score.
Gaston jumped out to a 12-0 lead after a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Douglas to Dylan Gilchrist. The two-point conversion failed.
Pleasant Valley rallied with a 79-yard touchdown run by Reagan King and trailed 12-6 after the missed extra point.
On the next Gaston possession, the Raiders’ Gio Miller forced a fumble that Reid Ponder recovered, but the Pleasant Valley offense stalled with a three-and-out. The Bulldogs then scored on their next two possessions to extend their lead to 26-6 with 10:46 to go in the first half.
Turnovers and special teams efforts helped the Raiders stay in the game, as Cantor Knight blocked a punt. The recovery set up a 29-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Elijah Borders to King.
On the next possession, Pleasant Valley’s Chance Ferguson intercepted a pass. The Raiders forced to punt, but the kick was muffed inside the 20-yard line. Pleasant Valley then scored on another touchdown pass from Borders to King, ending the first half at 26-19.
The Raiders came out in the second half with momentum, tying the game up 26-26 on the first possession of the second half.
Gaston answered with Cammeron’s 49-yard touchdown run, making it 34-26.
After a couple of long drives stalled for the Raiders, the Bulldogs ran off most of the fourth-quarter clock, finally scoring on a 9-yard touchdown run by Cammeron that pushed the lead to 40-26 with 1:18 on the clock.
The Raiders scored once more on a 70-yard drive that ended with Borders’ third touchdown pass of the night to Caden Turner.
Gaston travels to Ranburne next Friday (Nov. 6) in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs.