Gadsden City won the stat battle Friday, but lost where it counts — on the scoreboard — against Austin.

The Black Bears overpowered the Titans 31-10 in the Class 7A, Region 4 game, even though they had 198 offensive yards (157 rushing, 41 passing) to GCHS’ 237 (213 of it on the ground).

They also turned three big plays into touchdowns in the second half — including a successful onside kick at the start — to put GCHS into a hole it couldn’t climb out of.

Austin dominated the clock early and took a 10-0 lead on Kulyn Hubbard’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Cody Sorrels (3:38 first quarter) and Zachary Morrison’s 39-yard field goal (11:19 second quarter). The Titan offense finally broke through with an extended 13-play drive capped by Carlos Flores’ 29-yard field goal as time expired in the half.

Austin pulled the onside kick, however, and five plays later quarterback Quincy Crittenden kept 2 yards and the Black Bears were up 17-3 with 9:36 left in the third quarter.

GCHS drove into Austin territory on its next possession but was halted by a sack and had to punt. Its defense held Austin, but it fumbled on a fair catch on the punt. Four plays later, and five seconds into the final quarter, Crittenden again kept for 5 yards and the Black Bears were up 24-3. They made it 31-3 after Reddrick Stewart intercepted a pass from Jalen Robinson and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.

Jamontez Woods ran 41 yards for the Titans’ only touchdown with 8:04 left.

Robinson stepped in to play quarterback for GCHS, as DeMarcus Macon didn’t dress because of an injury. He rushed for 24 yards on 14 carries and completed 4-of-10 passes for 24 yards. “He played a gutsy game,” GCHS coach Bart Sessions said of Robinson.

 

Star of the Night

Tyhlen Williams had just 68 yards on 23 carries for Austin and didn’t score, but he was the workhorse in the Black Bears’ long first scoring drive and had key runs throughout the game.

 

Play of the Game

Austin’s onside kick to start the second half, which was covered at Gadsden City’s 46. Five plays later, the Black Bears had turned a one-touchdown lead at the half into a two-score margin. “It was an unfortunate play,” Sessions, who added that he and his staff weren’t caught by surprise, said. “You’ve got to find a way to (prevent) that play.”

 

Coachspeak

“I’m proud of our players and coaches. They’re out there fighting every day, working their rear ends off. We’ve got a good group of kids and coaches. We gave up a few plays here and there, but our kids are fighting hard and our coaches are working hard.” — Sessions

 

By the Numbers

8:22 — The amount of time Austin’s first scoring drive consumed; it covered 75 yards in 17 plays. ... 3 — The number of times Austin has defeated the Titans, in as many meetings. ... 4 — The number of offensive plays run by GCHS in the first quarter, to Austin’s 23; however, the Titans had a 48-42 edge the rest of the game.

 

They Said It

“At times we played well, and we moved the football up and down the field. We’ve just to continue to work and improve. ... I’ve got a lot to be proud of with these guys.” — Sessions

 

Stat Sheet

Woods had 100 yards on 12 carries and Jamian Jones 81 yards on eight carries for GCHS. ... Quinton Densmore had an interception for the Titans.

 

Vistor

Former GCHS and University of Alabama standout Dre Kirkpatrick, now a defensive back with the Cincinnati Bengals, was on the sideline Friday watching his alma mater.

 

Up Next

Gadsden (0-4, 0-2) travels to Bob Jones and Austin (3-1, 2-0) hosts Grissom in region play next week.