By Gary Lloyd
GADSDEN — Consider the state awakened.
Hewitt-Trussville upset Class 7A No. 3 Gadsden City 31-27 on Friday night at Titan Stadium, its second consecutive win over a Class 7A ranked opponent.
[VIDEO: Highlights, post-game reaction from Hewitt-Trussville’s win over Gadsden City]
Junior quarterback Zac Thomas rushed 30 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns — all his scores came in the first half — to lead Hewitt-Trussville (3-2, 1-2 Class 7A, Region 3). He also completed 10-of-17 passes for 205 yards.
The loss is the first of the season for Gadsden City (5-1, 3-0 Class 7A, Region 4).
“I think we’re just getting better and better,” said first-year Hewitt-Trussville head coach Josh Floyd.
Thomas started the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown on Hewitt-Trussville’s first possession. Gadsden City then answered when Dante Rudolph rushed for a 1-yard score with 3:08 left in the first quarter.
Thomas responded on the Huskies’ next possession, rushing for a seven-yard TD. The Titans then scored on the second play of the second quarter when Rodney Bozeman scampered 30 yards for the score, tying the game at 14.
Early in the second quarter, Thomas found the end zone from two yards out to put the Huskies up 21-14 at halftime.
On Gadsden City’s first drive of third quarter, Ahmad DeRamus was picked off by Hewitt-Trussville’s Jarett Nelson. Jarrion Street then capped a 15-play, 81-yard drive with a three-yard TD run. Hewitt-Trussville then got an onside kick recovered by Dalton Meadows, but the ensuing drive stalled. On Hewitt-Trussville’s next drive, Thomas fumbled at the Gadsden City 13-yard line, and Blair Edwards scooped it up and ran it 87 yards for the score, making it a 28-21 game with 7:48 to play.
Hewitt-Trussville then ran 14 plays over six minutes, ending the drive with an 18-yard field goal by T.J. McGettigan with 1:45 to play. Gadsden CIty answered, when DeRamus connected with Darnell Mooney for an 11-yard score with just 26 seconds left. Hewitt-Trussville blocked the extra point, making it a 31-27 game. Gadsden City’s onside kick attempt went out of bounds.
Thomas said the 64-63 four-overtime win over Spain Park last week “set the tone” for the game at Gadsden City.
“We came out here and we did what we did last week,” he said.
At one point in the third and fourth quarters combined, Hewitt-Trussville had run 40 of the 42 offensive plays snapped between the two teams. The Titans ran just 11 plays in the final quarter, nine of which came in the final 1:45.
Thomas said he thinks Hewitt-Trussville’s potential is “sky high.”
“We’re proving to the state right now we can actually be good and I think we’re actually going to do good things,” Thomas said.
For Gadsden City, DeRamus connected on 13 of his 21 passing attempts for 144 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Devin Reed also intercepted a pass for the Huskies. Street rushed 19 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. Dalton Meadows caught five passes for 72 yards for Hewitt-Trussville.
“Underdogs every game,” Meadows said. “We didn’t care. We just came in as a team and came out on top.”
What’s the ceiling for Hewitt-Trussville?
“Right now we believe we can do anything,” Meadows said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.