Titans go full throttle in second half against Fort Payne

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Photo: Gadsden City Zion Gibson (right) zeroes in on Fort Payne’s Nolan Fowler during the Titans’ 63-41 victory in high school football on Sept. 15 at GCHS. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

Courtesy of Southern Torch Media

In a shootout involving arguably the top two teams in Class 6A, Region 8, Gadsden City had a bit more ammunition down the stretch than did Fort Payne.
Trailing by four points midway through the third quarter, the Titans (3-1, 2-0) turned to their defense and workhorse senior running back to turn the tide.
The GCHS defenders pitched a shout over the final 18 minutes and T.J. Worthy scored four of the Titans’ final five touchdowns in a 63-41 victory at Titan Stadium.
Worthy finished with 171 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries. He also caught a 34-yard touchdown pass. For the season, Worthy has 551 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
The combined 104 points was the most in GCHS history.
Dax Varnadore’s 41-yard touchdown pass to Brannon Oliver and Conner Hughes’ PAT provided the Wildcats with a 41-37 lead midway through the third quarter.
That turned out to be the final salvo for the visitors. Gadsden City erased its deficit on the following possession by way of Worthy’s 43-yard touchdown run to make it 44-41 in favor of the Titans.
GCHS forced a punt in the ensuing Wildcat series, and the Titans made the Wildcats pay when Worthy and quarterback Luke Waldrop connected for a 37-yard touchdown pass and a double-digit lead.
Gadsden City didn’t let up, as Kerrell Yow came up with an interception with Fort Payne deep in its own territory. Waldrop ran it in from the Wildcat 2 on the next play, pushing the GCHS advantage to 58-41 early in the final period.
Trailing 27-24 at halftime, Gadsden City regained the lead early in the third quarter with Worthy’s 47-yard touchdown run. Fort Payne answered with Varnadore’s one-yard TD run, but Worthy’s two-yard plunge on the next series gave the Titans a 37-34 lead.
With the Titans ahead 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, Kaden Dubose scored from two yards out to put Fort Payne up by four points. That lead was short-lived, as Dre Kirkpatrick, Jr., ran back the ensuing kickoff 65 yards to the end zone for a 17-14 advantage.
The Wildcats responded in kind with Dubose’s 27-yard touchdown run, but Yow’s 40-yard scoring run shortly thereafter made it 24-21 in favor of Gadsden City.
The Titans continue region play on Friday, Sept. 22 with a visit to sixth-ranked Hartselle.

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