Titans come up short in region opener

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By Chris McCarthy/Editor

A late rally fell short as Gadsden City’s 2016 winless streak continued last Friday (Sept. 2) at GCHS.
A pair of touchdowns by sophomore running back Jamontez Woods in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter wasn’t enough to prevent a 28-14 loss to Class 7A, Region 4 rival and third-ranked Hewitt-Trussville.
Gadsden City (0-3, 0-1) was held scoreless until the 5:31 mark of the fourth quarter, when Woods broke free for an 83-yard touchdown run. Jonathan Kilgo’s PAT drew the hosts within 28-7.
After forcing a quick three-and-out, it took the Titans just three plays to find the end zone. Woods scored from 28 yards out, and Kilgo’s extra point cut the deficit to 14 points with 2:28 left in the game.
But the hosts would get no closer. The Huskies (3-0, 1-0) recovered the ensuing onside kick and were able to convert on a crucial fourth down situation and run out the clock.
Wood led the GCHS ground game with 148 yards on 10 carries. Ryan Sparks was 9 of 27 in passing for 90 yards. Jaylen Cole had three catchers for 24 yards, while Woods had two for 35.
Hewitt-Trussville finished with 337 total yards, including 187 on the ground.
“We had a little bit of offense in the second half, but it was a little too late,” said head coach Matt Scott. “We have to find a way to be productive [on offense] early on. Defensively, I think we got worn down in the second half, and that’s going to happen when we keep going three and out.”
After punting on their opening series, the Huskies took a 14-0 lead on two Grayson Cash touchdown runs – the first for 14-yards at 3:14 of the first quarter and the second for 23 yards with 23 seconds left in the opening period. Parker Colburn converted both extra points.
The GCHS defense held its own for the remainder of the first half, forcing three punts while allowing only four total yards.
But the Gadsden City offense had difficulty moving the ball. After a shanked punt gave the hosts great field position at the Huskie 27, the Titan drive came up empty when GCHS could not convert on a fourth and goal situation with just over for minutes remaining in the half.
That failed scoring drive proved costly when Hewitt-Trussville scored touchdowns off its first two possessions of the second half. Elliot McElwain’s 18-yard touchdown run made it 21-0 at 9:13 of the third, while Connor Adair’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Noah Igbinoghene put the Titans in a 28-0 hole.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board and keep our heads up and go back to work,” said Scott. “We’ll find ways to be productive on offense and have our defensive guys hang in there until we can get that done.”
Gadsden City travels to James Clemens this Friday (Sept. 9) for more region action.

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