By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Coosa Christian and Gaylesville put it all on the line on Friday (Oct. 14) with a playoff spot at stake.
When the smoke cleared, the Conquerors were enjoying the spoils of a hard-fought 21-18 win in Class 1A, Region 6 action in Gadsden.
With Coosa (3-6, 3-2) clinging to a 21-18 lead late in the fourth quarter, the Trojans (1-7, 0-5) had one last shot at the win when the Conquerors fumbled a snap on a punt attempt and Gaylesville recovered the ball at the Coosa 26 yard line with 2:08 remaining.
The Trojans ran three plays to get inside the Conqueror 10, but on fourth down quarterback Tristen Payne was sacked, allowing the Conquerors run out the clock for the win.
Coosa clinched at least the fourth and final played spot in the region and could move up to the No. 3 position if the Conquerors defeat Woodville this week. It will be Coosa’s first postseason appearance since the 2009 season.
“This was a hard fought win and a great game,” said Coosa head coach Chris Sanders. “We’ve seen some trials and tribulations, but we stuck together as a team.”
The Trojans amassed 349 yards in total offense but their inability to pass hurt them down the stretch. Gaylesville rushed for 320 yards but could only manage 29 passing yards.
Coosa had a total of 221 yards of offense.
For the Conquerors, Jace Mills ran completed 12 of 16 passes for 164 yards. He also rushed five times for 47 yards and had an interception on defense. Caden Davison caught seven passes for 94 yards.
Seongsoo Park led the way defensively with nine tackles, followed by Daisaku Teppei, Noah Davidson and Chase Burger with six each. Park also had a sack.
Gaylesville jumped out to a 12-0 lead on first-quarter touchdown runs by Landon Lawson and Devin Bentemheime.
Coosa answered with a 60-yard punt return by Dartavious Britton at 10:17 of the second quarter, while a 25-yard touchdown pass from Jace Mills to Caleb Garrett with 7:37 left before the half provided the hosts with a 14-12 lead.
The Conquerors added to its lead in the fourth quarter with a one-play, 17-yard drive on Mills’ 17-yard touchdown run with 10:39 left in the game. The score gave Coosa a 21-12 lead with 10:39 remaining.
Gaylesville cut the lead to 21-18 with 4:54 remaining, driving 34 yards in four plays. Payne scored on a one-yard run.
Lawson rushed for 170 yards on 31 carries for Gaylesville, while Bentheimer gained 132 on nine attempts.