By Adam Crocker/Sports Correspondent
It was Senior Night at Titan Stadium last Friday (Oct. 14), and Gadsden City rewarded its 21 upperclassmen with a state playoff berth.
The Titans (4-5, 4-2) clinched the third spot in Class 7A, Region 4 with a 62-27 thumping of Sparkman (3-5, 2-4) at GCHS.
It was the Titans’ third straight win after starting the season 1-5.
“When you’re in that situation (with a big lead), you want to come out and not let it turn into a sloppy game,” said GCHS head head coach Matt Scott. “We talk about handling the highs and lows in games and we have had a lot of opportunities this year to try and handle the lows, and we didn’t do that good of a job when we came back out [at halftime]. I was afraid that being in that situation, right out of the gate, have a penalty, turning the ball over. I thought we lost focus a little bit, and it’s hard not to, I understand that, but overall the guys did a great job.”
The home team started the game off with the ball and quickly went to work. An eight-yard touchdown dash from Damon Williams and Johnathan Kilgo’s PAT made it 7-0 with 7:49 remaining in the first quarter.
Following a quick and unproductive drive by the Senators, Gadsden City started out on its own 41-yard line.
Ryan Sparks 10-yard pass to LaRay Mostella led to yet another Titan score. Kilgo’s kick was good, making it 14-0 with 3:41 remaining in the first.
Gadsden City added on six more points off of Sparks’ 22-yard scoring pass to Mostella, Kilgo’s PAT pushed the lead to 21 points.
The Senators took over and didn’t waste any time getting on the board. Devin Kimbrough’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Chase Parker and Miles Tillman’s PAT pulled the Harvest squad within 21-7 with 7:21 remaining in the first half.
But Gadsden City answered back when Jaelyn Fleming punched it in from 22 yards out, and Kilgo’s kick made it 28-7 with 4:20 remaining in the half.
The hosts added yet another score off a 14-yard run from Fleming. The Titans then recovered an onside kick, setting up Spark’s 22-yard scoring pass to Jaylen Cole. Kilgo’s PAT made it 42-7 with 50.6 remaining in the half.
But Sparkman wasn’t yet ready to head to the locker room, however, as Jackie Gibson returned the ensuing kickoff to the house. The PAT was no good, making it 42-13 at halftime.
Gadsden City opened up the second half with a pick-six by linebacker DeWayne Parker that made it 48-13 14 seconds into the third quarter.
The Titans took a 6219 lead into the final quarter.
Williams ran the ball 25 times for 172 yards. while Fleming had 81 yards on eight carries.
Sparks was 4 for 12 in passing for 121 yards and four touchdowns. Parker had two interceptions.
Gadsden City closes out both region play and the regular season with a visit to Huntsville this Friday (Oct. 21).