By Gary Lloyd
GADSDEN — This game got away from Hewitt-Trussville in the fourth quarter.
After scoring two touchdowns within four minutes to cut the deficit to 35-31, Gadsden City scored 19 straight points in the fourth quarter and eliminated Hewitt-Trussville from the Class 7A playoffs, 54-37.
“It was a great game, but we gave them a lot,” said Hewitt-Trussville junior running back Jarrion Street. “They’re a good team, don’t get me wrong, but I think it could have been closer if we could have cut down on some turnovers and all that.”
Street is right. Hewitt-Trussville (5-6) got on the board first when senior Cyle Moore rushed 11 yards for a score. Gadsden City answered 12 seconds later when Jaylon Williams returned the kickoff 99 yards for a TD.
After a Gadsden City fumble recovered by Tanner Harwell was turned into three points on a T.J. McGettigan 33-yard field goal early in the third quarter, Darnell Mooney returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards for a TD, giving the Titans (9-2) a 28-17 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, with the game likely out of reach for Hewitt-Trussville, which was down 48-31 with fewer than four minutes to play, junior quarterback Zac Thomas fumbled and Zackery Oglesby returned it 43 yards for a Titans touchdown.
Hewitt-Trussville first-year head coach Josh Floyd gave the Titans credit, but 21 of their points came too easily.
“We didn’t make them earn it,” Floyd said.
For Hewitt-Trussville, Street rushed 24 times for 196 yards and a touchdown. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season. Thomas rushed 20 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. He completed 9-of-20 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown to Dalton Meadows from 15 yards out, the Huskies’ final score. Meadows also caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from Moore on a halfback pass.
For Gadsden City, Gabriel Ford rushed 18 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Ahmad DeRamus completed 1-of-3 passes for 12 yards. Dante Rudolph found Rodney Bozeman for a 9-yard touchdown pass to go up 41-31 in the fourth quarter.
Hewitt-Trussville will have confidence going into the 2015 season. It returns some key players on both sides of the ball and will have a full offseason under Floyd and his staff.
“We’ve just got to get in the weight room and work hard, and prove to everyone else once again,” Street said. “We’re going to try to wake the state and go all the way next year.”