Hewitt-Trussville gets gutty win over Gadsden City
By Gary Lloyd
A lot of teams locked into playoff spots rested starters Friday and took losses that seemingly didn’t matter.
The Huskies (5-5, 4-3, Class 6A, Region 6) scored on third-and-goal from the 19-yard line on a pass from Blake Bailey to DeMarcus Kelly with 5:20 to play and held on late to beat Gadsden City 17-14 at Jack Wood Stadium.
Kelly got inside leverage on the Titans cornerback and caught the fade in the right corner of the end zone.
“That was a tremendous route,” said Hewitt-Trussville head coach Hal Riddle.
The game was close all the way through.
Gadsden City quarterback Ahmad DeRamus found Gabriel Ford for a 10-yard touchdown on the first play after Hewitt-Trussville turned the ball over on a punt. Hewitt-Trussville cut the deficit to 7-3 late in the field goal when T.J. McGettigan booted a 30-yard field goal.
Senior running back Peyton Palmer capped a 14-play, 90-yard drive late in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. It gave Hewitt-Trussville a 10-7 halftime lead.
DeRamus hit DaVeunte Blount for a 72-yard TD on Gadsden City’s second drive of the third quarter, giving the Titans (5-5, 5-2 Class 6A, Region 7) a 14-10 advantage.
Bailey then hit Kelly for the decisive touchdown with 5:20 remaining in the game, capping a 10-play, 85-yard drive. Gadsden City made its way to the Huskies’ 34-yard line with less than three minutes to play, but DeRamus slipped for an eight-yard loss on fourth-and-four.
“It was a perfect night,” said Kelly, who finished with 10 receptions for 149 yards and a score.
Bailey had his third straight big night, completing 22-of-34 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown. Palmer rushed the ball 19 hard times for 81 yards and a TD for the Huskies.
“He took a beating,” Riddle said of Palmer. “He stuck it up in there tonight like a man.”
Senior Riley Stokes caught three passes for 43, junior Cyle Moore caught four passes for 15 yards and senior Logan McAlpin had an 18-yard grab.
Defensively, Hewitt-Trussville held Gadsden City to 177 total yards of offense, 72 of which came on one play. The defense registered seven tackles for loss and two sacks.
“I’m so proud of our defense tonight,” Riddle said.
Hewitt-Trussville travels to No. 6 Bob Jones (9-1) next Friday for the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. Bob Jones beat Hewitt-Trussville 35-0 in May’s spring game.
“A game like this one, a close one that we pulled out, it’s going to boost our morale a lot,” said senior defensive end Austin Wysor, who had a sack against Gadsden City. “It’s going to give us a lot of confidence. I feel like we can beat anybody right now, the way we’re playing.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.