Titans rally past Huntsville on homecoming

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By Chris Benefield/Sports Correspondent

  As two Class 7A, Region 4 heavyweights stood toe-to-toe
slugging it out at Titan Stadium last Friday (Oct. 2), Gadsden City High looked
desperately for a hero.

Junior cornerback Jer’Michael Isom answered the call with a
late fourth-quarter interception that propelled his Titans to a dramatic 28-21
homecoming victory over Huntsville. 

The result kept Gadsden City (4-3, 3-1) in the running for a
home playoff game.

Seconds after Brooklyn Sims accepted her tiara as 2015 GCHS
Homecoming Queen, the Titans made their initial strike. Jaelyn Fleming fielded
the game’s opening kickoff on the right sideline, cut across the middle of the
field and tightroped the left sideline for a 77-yard touchdown. Parker Holland
kicked the PAT to 7-0 with 11:45 on the first quarter clock for a 7-0 GCHS
lead.

From that point on, the game turned into a field position
battle, with both teams generating plenty of offense between the 30-yard lines
but failing to dent their opponents’ end zone.

Finally, with five minutes remaining in the half, Huntsville
(2-4, 2-2) stopped the Titans on a huge fourth down and 1 at the Crimson
Panther 44 and went on a nine-play drive to paydirt.  Senior running back Gary Fearn was the workhorse on the
drive with a pass reception and four carries totaling 20 yards, including the
power score on third and goal from the GCHS 1. Demario Patton’s PAT knotted it
at 7-7 with 2:12 left before halftime.

The visitors weren’t finished, however, as they recovered a
Titan fumble three plays later.

Fearn then ripped over left tackle for 19 yards and another
Panther score only 25 seconds until halftime.

Gadsden City fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Huntsville fell
on the ball at the Titan 12.

Consecutive major distance penalties and a quarterback sack
pushed the visitors out of field goal range, however, and the Titans entered
the locker room down only 14-7.

The field position tug-of-war resumed in the second half,
and after three punts, the home squad was backed up to their own 10.

From there, though, the Titans went on an impressive 12-play
drive, taking over six minutes off the clock. Damon Williams carried the ball
six times for 17 yards and made a spectacular 37-yard third-down reception of
an Ahmad DeRamus pass.

Jarvis McKee eventually bulled into the end zone from the
Panther 3 with 10:26 to go in the game and the contest was tied 14-14.

But Huntsville immediately drove 80 yards in nine plays to
retake the lead at 21-14 with seven minutes left on a 23-yard scoring pass from
Matthew Nowlin to William Cooper.

Gadsden City struck right back with a seven-play drive,
again featuring Damon Williams and augmented with a 30-yard scamper by Fleming.

Williams went the final 13 yards to once again tie the
contest, this time at 21-21, with only 3:54 remaining, setting the stage for
Isom’s heroics.

On the third play after the touchdown, Isom cut in front of
a Panther receiver out of the backfield with a diving interception and set the
Titans up on the Huntsville 27.

After DeRamus carried for four yards, Rodney Bozeman
produced consecutive six-yard gains before Williams took it home from the 8,
and GCHS was finally back on top with only 1:37 remaining.

Huntsville eventually turned the ball over on downs on the
ensuing possession, and DeRamus took a knee a couple of times to run out the
clock.

Williams rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries for the Titans,
while DeRamus was 7-for-14 in passing for 80 yards.

Fearn led Huntsville with 150 yards on 24 carries.

Gadsden City travels to Madison this week for a region
contest against James Clemens.

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