By Gary Lloyd
This game a season ago was emotional.
Running back Sidney Battle was hit hard on the game’s first play and was taken to the hospital. He felt some numbness in his extremities but was ultimately OK.
Clay-Chalkville played a distracted game after the injury, winning 21-14 in overtime. Gadsden City had a chance to win in regulation, missing a 23-yard field goal.
This time around, a healthy Clay-Chalkville team will be focused. Kickoff between the No. 2 Cougars (6-0, 4-0, Class 6A, Region 7) and Gadsden City (2-4, 1-3) is at 7 p.m. Friday at Titan Stadium in Gadsden.
Gadsden City is an interesting team. Under first-year head coach Matt Scott, the Titans have wins over Lee-Huntsville and Albertville. It lost its first game of the season 28-7 to Florence and its most recent home game 35-7 to Pell City. The Titans competed in a 6-0 loss to a solid Oxford team and barely fell at Class 6A No. 8 Auburn, 16-13. The 16 points Auburn scored was a season low for the 5-1 team.
However, Gadsden City scores just a paltry 13.6 points per game but allows a respectable 15.3 points to its opponents.
Clay-Chalkville is the top scoring team in Class 6A, averaging 48.3 points per contest. The defense is allowing 19 points per game.
For Gadsden City to have a chance, it will need to play its best defensive game and create a short field for its offense with turnovers. This Clay-Chalkville team, however, is on a mission this season and will ride the arms and legs of senior quarterback Hayden Moore, and the legs of running backs Terrelle West, Sidney Battle, DeAndres Merriweather, Christopher Marshall and Stephone Sheffield. Senior receiver Brian Clark is playing great on the outside, catching five touchdown passes in the last three games.
Expect Gadsden City to compete early but for Clay-Chalkville to roll to another big victory.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.