Fyffe beats Gaston 40-20

Fyffe’s Levi Bates catches a pass for a touchdown as Gaston’s Destin Pollard defends on the play in Friday night’s game. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)

Gaston fell behind early and was not able to get its offense going until late in the game as Class 2A, No. 3 Fyffe defeated the Bulldogs 40-20 in Region 7 high school football action Friday.

Despite being outgained 350-96 and trailing 34-0 at halftime, the Bulldogs managed to gain 214 second-half yards (to just 64 yards for the Red Devils) while showing some explosiveness on offense.

“We found some things that worked near the end of the first half, and we did the same things in the second half,” Gaston coach Josh Averett said.

“We were just trying to get better at what we do. Any time you move the ball against a great football team, you’re  doing something right.”

Jailyn Britton had a big night for Gaston (0-7, 0-5), rushing 25 times for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman Jordan Douglas was 7 of 9 passing for 81 yards and a touchdown, though he also had a costly interception.

Randy Blackwell was the star of the night for the Red Devils (7-0, 5-0). He had eight carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns even though he did not have an attempt after the second quarter. He also had a 15-yard interception return for a score in the third quarter.

Randy (Blackwell) is a football player all of the time,” Fyffe coach Paul Benefield said. “He does everything for us. He is a really good football player and we depend on him.”

Cameron Gipson had 128 yards passing on 2 of 5 throws. Both of his completions went for touchdowns.

“Yeah, I am (satisfied with the win),” Benefield said. “We tried to get all of our kids in (the game). I might’ve taken (the starters) out a little too early.”

Gaston fumbled the opening kickoff and Fyffe covered it at the Bulldogs’ 39. Three plays later, Blackwell scored on a 6-yard run. Will Mashburn’s kick made it 7-0 with 10:43 left in the first quarter.

After a Gaston punt, the Red Devils needed just four plays to go 59 yards. Levi Bates ran it in from 11 yards out with 8:03 to go in the opening period. Mashburn’s kick made it 14-0.

A seven play, 71-yard drive, the most methodical of the first half by Fyffe, got the visitors on the board again. This time, Gipson hit Bates on a 41-yard scoring toss with 2:25 to go in the first half to push it to 21-0.

On the first play of the next Red Devil possession, Blackwell blazed around the right side for a 74-yard touchdown run, his second of the game to make it 27-0 with 14 seconds left until the second quarter. The kick was no good.

Gaston mounted a 14 play, 77-yard drive that took up most of the second quarter. The Bulldogs drove as far as the Red Devil 3, but could not get into the end zone, and a Douglas pass on fourth-and-goal was broken up with 1:25 left until halftime.

It took only two plays for Fyffe to finish off the first-half scoring. Gipson hit a wide-open Cade Carroll for a 87-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds until the break to make it a 34-0 contest.

The final score for the Red Devils came when Blackwell picked off Douglas and returned it 15 yards with 9:25 left in the third quarter.

After that, Gaston controlled the ball for most of the rest of the game.

The Bulldogs mounted a 14 play, 86-yard drive, their most impressive of the night, to get on the board. Braxton Collins finished it off with a 1-yard run to make it 40-6 with 9:56 left in the game. The 2-point conversion was no good.

Gaston then covered the ensuing onside kick. Seven plays and 43 yards later, a 1-yard plunge from Britton and a Douglas-to-Jackson Bogle 2-point coversion throw made it 40-14.

The final score came with 12 seconds left in the game when Douglas and Bogle connected again, this time on a 23-yard scoring toss.

“Our guys didn’t quit or get down on themselves,” Averett said. “They kept fighting. That’s something we haven’t done in past weeks. That’s definitely something we can build on.”

Region play continues for both teams next week, as the Bulldogs travel to Ider while Fyffe goes to North Sand Mountain in a battle of Region 7 unbeatens.