By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Gadsden City High has found itself in a precarious situation after only two weeks of this young football season.
Following a 22-10 loss to Oxford last Friday (Aug. 26), the Titans are 0-2 for the first time in school history with region play set to begin this week.
The game got interesting with Oxford leading 15-7 with 3:09 to go in the first half.
An hour-long delay occurred when the stadium lights went out and then an electrical storm hit the Gadsden area.
The Titans had the ball on Oxford’s 46-yard line to start play after the delay. Johnny Kilgo capped the drive with a 24-yard field goal with 14 seconds left in the first half to trim the Titan deficit to 15-10.
A crucial point in the game came midway through the third quarter after Gadsden City
had the ball stripped and recovered by Oxford’s Amaud Simmons. The Yellow Jackets took over at the Titan 27 and found pay-dirt when Abram Peoples scored on a quarterback keeper with 2:01 left in the third quarter to make it 22-10.
GCHS starting halfback Damon Williams did not play because of an ankle injury.
“We’re going to have to quit giving the ball over on turnovers,” said Gadsden City head coach Matt Scott after the game. “Our defense played well, but we turned the ball over too many times to win. We also have to learn to convert on third and fourth down.”
For Gadsden City, Jamontez Woods ran for 78 yards on 22 carries. Jaelyn Fleming added 71 yards on 13 rushes.
Ryan Sparks completed 6 of 15 passes for 49 yards, while Jaylen Cole had two receptions for 32 yards.
Oxford won the opening coin toss and elected to defer until the second half. After Gadsden City went three-and-out, the snap went over the punter’s head and Oxford recovered the ball at the Titan 5-yard line.
The Yellow Jackets (2-0) took advantage of the turnover with Tyetus Smith-Lindsey scoring on their first play. He then ran in a 2-point conversion to put Oxford up 8-0 with 10:14 left in the opening quarter.
Gadsden City got on the scoreboard with 10 minutes left in the first half on a 3-yard run by Fleming. This score came after Sparks picked up a first down on a run from the Oxford 4, making the score 8-7 following the Johnny Kilgo PAT.
Oxford’s next touchdown proved to be the game winner, as Peoples scored on a quarterback sweep to extend the Yellow Jacket lead to 15-7 with 4:42 left in the first half.
Smith-Lindsey paced Oxford on the ground with 75 yards on 18 rushes. Peoples ran for 52 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns. Kenney Britt had a fumble recovery and an interception on defense.
Gadsden City hosts Hewitt-Trussville on Friday (Sept. 2) to begin Class 7A, Region 4 play.
“We need to get back to fundamentals,” said Scott. “We play Hewitt-Trussville next and they’re a sound football team. We’re capable of playing good ball; we just have to get to it.”