Gadsden City Titans beat Hewitt-Trussville 27-21


Gadsden City’s LaGerald Malone tries to evade the arm tackle of Hewitt-Trussville’s Elisha Ashley during Friday’s game at Titan Stadium. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times)


Gadsden City held off a second-half rally by Hewitt-Trussville to close out the regular season with a 27-21 win Friday at Titan Stadium.

Griffin Pair fielded a Titan punt and returned it 67 yards for an apparent touchdown late in the third, but the Huskies were flagged for roughing the punter, giving Gadsden City a fresh set of downs at its own 33.

Gadsden City made the Huskies pay, driving 76 yards in 11 plays for what proved to be a key score. CJ Moore, who completed 6 of 11 passes for 69 yards and rushed for a team- high 75 yards on 16 carries, tossed a 20-yard touchdown to LaGerald Malone to push the lead to 27-7 with 10:57 to play in the fourth.

Hewitt-Trussville scored on its next two possessions to cut the deficit to 27-21. Jeff Palmer scored on a 10-yard run and Griffin Wright kicked the PAT at the 9:50 mark of the final quarter.

Williams Stokes took a lateral from Sam Miller and then found Deshawn Ward for a 21-yard touchdown pass to trail 27-21 following the PAT with 6:17 left.

“They did a good job adjusting their front into a four-man look,” Gadsden City coach Joe Billingsley said after his team improved to 6-4 overall. “Our defense came out flat in the second half, but got their legs back under them in the fourth quarter and the offense did a good job of keeping the ball away from them.”

The Titans got on the scoreboard first, driving 85 yards in five plays. Jaiye Miller scored on a 3-yard run and Austin Piazza added the extra-point for a 7-9 lead with 7:04 left in the first quarter.

Hewitt-Trussville drove to the Gadsden 2 on its next possession and had first and goal. Jordan Hardwell was stripped of the football heading to the end zone and Finesse Middleton recovered it for a touchback to stop the Huskies’ drive.

The Titans would close out the quarter on another 3-yard run by Miller to cap a 7-play, 60 yard drive. Piazza’s PAT extended Gadsden’s lead to 14-0 heading into the second quarter.

Malone, who had three catches for 27 yards, sprinted down the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown on a reverse on fourth and three. Piazza kicked the PAT to give the Titans a 21-0 lead with 6:38 to go in the second.

Hewitt wrapped up the first half scoring on a Hardwell 1-yard run to cap a 14-play, 68-yard drive. Wright made the PAT to cut the Gadsden lead to 21-7 at halftime.

The Titans finished the night with 371 yards, rushing for 302 yards while passing for 69. The Huskies had 411 total yards – 135 rushing and 276 passing.

Gadsden City travels to Region 8 winner Bob Jones on Friday at 7 p.m. in Huntsville.