NEW MARKET – It was all Gadsden City at Tommy R. Ledbetter Stadium on Thursday night.
The Titans took advantage of great field position in the first half of their 41-0 win over Buckhorn in Class 7A, Region 4 play. The victory was a strong bounce-back from a 44-point loss to Park Crossing last week for Gadsden City.
Jamontavius Woods returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back after the Titans were flagged for a block in the back.
Gadsden City was forced to punt following the penalty, but Buckhorn muffed it. Harlan Wallace fell on the ball in the end zone for Gadsden City’s first score. Jonathan Kilgo’s extra point put the Titans up 7-0 with 9:26 left in the opening quarter.
Later in the quarter, Ryan Sparks floated a 33-yard touchdown pass into the arms of Jaelyn Fleming to put the Titans up by two scores late in the first quarter. The drive started at the Buckhorn 47 after Gadsden City forced a three and out.
Kilgo hit a 37-yard field goal while Sparks tossed two more touchdowns in the second quarter. The Titans went up 31-0 at the half and never looked back.
Gadsden City had its backups in on the first drive of the fourth quarter with a 34-0 lead.
Star of the Night
The Gadsden City defense and Ryan Sparks’ three touchdown passes of 33, 11 and 44 yards were key to Gadsden City jumping out to its big lead at the half. All three of those drives started in Buckhorn territory.
By the Numbers
7 – Seven of Gadsden City’s nine drives in the first half started on Buckhorn’s side of the field. … 41 – Gadsden City’s worst starting field position in the first half was at its 41-yard line. … 10 – Gadsden City’s defense forced 10 three-and-outs against Buckhorn. … 5.7 – Buckhorn didn’t get its first first down of the game until 5.7 seconds left in the first half.
Play of the Game
While Wallace’s touchdown on the muffed punt was more than enough for Gadsden City, Sparks’ 11-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Cole sucked all the air out of the game for the Bucks. It put the Titans up 24-0 midway through the second quarter and was set up by a blocked punt at the Buckhorn 11. Gadsden City scored on the first play of the drive.
“It sets up a huge game next week (Bob Jones). We are excited to have a huge region game at our place. We need all those Titan fans to come out, pack it out and be an intimidating place to play.” – Gadsden City coach Bart Sessions
They Said It
“We knew we needed to come in here this week and control the game. Just bounce back from last week and get good momentum going into next week.” – Sparks
Gadsden City held Buckhorn to 144 yards of offense. The Titans put up 293 yards in a balanced effort (157 passing, 136 rushing). … Fleming had three receptions for 88 yards, including his two touchdown grabs of 33 and 44 yards. … Sparks was 9 of 20 for 127 yards to go with his three touchdown passes. … Jamontez Woods had 51 yards rushing on 17 carries. … Deonte Jones ran for 75 yards on four rushes, as 74 of those came on one run. … Backup Gadsden City quarterback Jalen Robinson tossed a touchdown pass to Trey Blount in the final quarter. It bounced off receiver Carteun Mitchell before it ended up in Blount’s hands.
Gadsden City (3-4, 3-1 Region 4) hosts Bob Jones on Oct. 13 in a big region matchup. The Patriots (4-2, 3-0) host Hewitt-Trussville on Friday.
Article courtesy of The Gadsden Times