Gadsden City travels to Mountain Brook
Thu. November 03, 2011 at 11:03 p.m. | By Andrew Schmidt Sports Writer
CJ Moore and the Gadsden City Titans travel to Mountain Brook tonight for the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times | File )
A week of uncertainty ended Thursday for the Gadsden City football team that will be on the field after all Friday competing in the state playoffs.
Four days of legal maneuvering concluded Thursday with an Alabama Supreme Court decision that ultimately will send the Titans to Mountain Brook on Friday for the opening round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
After a loss to Hewitt-Trussville two weeks ago, Gadsden City (6-4) thought its postseason hopes had been extinguished. A few days, later, though, the Titans found themselves on the inside when Region 7 champion Clay-Chalkville was forced by the Alabama High School Athletic Association to forfeit nine wins, meaning the Titans moved from fifth in the region to fourth.
Injunctions against the AHSAA by lower courts in Jefferson, Etowah and Morgan Counties earlier this week clouded the playoff picture, but the Supreme Court ruling Thursday finally cleared the view.
Now that the Titans know their fate, they’ll have their work cut out for them if they want to make sure it’s not a short trip to the postseason.
Awaiting Gadsden City is an undefeated Mountain Brook (10-0) squad that is ranked as the No. 1 team in the state.
The Spartans have one of the most balanced offenses the Titans have faced all season, led by quarterback Edward Aldag and running back Mark Rector.
Aldag is completing more than 70 percent of his passes (136 of 192) and has thrown for 1,859 yards and 17 touchdowns while being intercepted just three times. His favorite target is Gavin Golson, who has 44 catches for 705 yards and six touchdowns. Rector has 1,021 yards and 20 touchdowns on 228 carries this season.
Gadsden City’s defense has been traditionally an opportunistic unit, and this year’s group is no different. Cornerback Brandon Sumpter, who has a team-high six interceptions, will be counted on to slow down Aldag and the Spartans’ passing attack. Safety Kenny Mostella also has big-play ability with three interceptions — including one he returned for a touchdown in the Titans’ loss to Hoover earlier this year.
Sophomore linebacker T.J. Posey is the top tackler for Gadsden City with 76 stops, just ahead of Tyler Naser’s 74, and Laynce Sanders has 11 sacks from his outside pass-rush position.
For the Gadsden City offense, junior quarterback CJ Moore will need a big game to move the ball against a Mountain Brook defense that allows just 10 points per game. Moore has thrown for 1,116 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Senior Devin Huntley is an all-purpose athlete for the Titan offense, and could take snaps at quarterback if needed.
Senior tailback Albert Johnson has a team-high 641 yards rushing, while junior BJ Hammond’s 326 receiving yards are a team-best. Johnson and Hammond have reached the end zone three times each.
Win Cowden has a team-best 80 tackles for Mountain Brook’s defense, including 17 that have come behind the line of scrimmage.
Friday’s game will be a rematch of a playoff contest last season. In that game, a quarterfinal matchup also held at Mountain Brook, Aldag tossed a pair of touchdown passes as the Spartans prevailed 20-13.