Gadsden City opens 6A, Region 7 play at Lee
Wed. September 05, 2012 at 11:55 p.m. | By J.J. Hicks Staff Writer
Gadsden City’s Trevor Sandridge will lead the Titans’ running attack in tonight’s game at Lee-Huntsville. (Photo by Sarah Dudik | Gadsden Times | File)
Gadsden City enters the second week of high school football action looking to build off an opening-season road victory.
The Titans got a last-second, game-winning 19-yard field goal from Austin Piazza to defeat Florence 30-28. Gadsden City, long known for its defensive prowess, piled up 426 yards of offense. In addition, with Mississippi State commit B.J. Hammond catching passes, the Titans look to be able to complete passes when they need to this season. It already happened in the opener, with C.J. Moore hitting Jordan Veasy on a late pass that set up the game-winning kick. Still, the team had four first-half turnovers in the victory.
On the other side of the ball, the normally stiff Gadsden City defense allowed 375 yards to the Falcons.
Coach Joe Billingsley knows his team has things to work on if it is to get where it wants.
“Obviously, we can’t have the turnovers in the first half like we had,” he said. “If we don’t have those, it’s a different game, and maybe we don’t have to do what we did at the end. I am proud of the way we competed. I’m proud of C.J. (Moore) for coming back and making the throw to Jordan Veasy there at the end.
“Whether we got a little tired, a little gassed, in the second half, our guys (on defense) feel like they have something to prove. They’ve worked extremely hard this week.”
Thursday, the Titans begin their Region 7 schedule when they travel to Lee-Huntsville, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. The Generals began the 2012 season with a 36-12 win over Columbia. Last year, Lee went 5-5 in Region 8, though one of those games was a forfeit win over J.O. Johnson.
Trevor Sandridge will look to build on his big opening game, where he rushed 21 times for 140 yards and a touchdown.
LaGerald Malone also proved to be a dangerous weapon, rushing for 84 yards on just five carries while also returning a kickoff 82 yards for another touchdown.
Chris Lawrence is another player for Lee the Titans will need to account for, as he rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown on only four carries.
Moore wasn’t called on to throw much, though he completed 6 of 13 throws for 123 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown toss to Hammond. He threw two interceptions.
Billingsley feels the Lee offense will be a tough stop for his team.
Jeremy Hinds, the quarterback for the Generals, likely will be a major focus of the Gadsden City defense. The senior rushed 11 times for 132 yards and a touchdown while completing 13 of 15 passes 130 yards for three scores. He also scored a trio of 2-point conversions (two passing, one rushing).
Overall, Lee totalled 521 yards (391 rushing) in the victory. Though the Generals will be taking a step up in competition level tonight, Billingsley knows his defense must be ready to play and stop Hinds, along with Lee’s other offensive players.
“We have people assigned to the quarterback week in and week out,” he stated. “We have to play our roles, get off blocks. When you have a player like that (Hinds) it would be dumb to say you’re not gonna key on him, but you have to key on their other players as well.
“They have a very exciting offense and a lot of weapons,” he said. “It ought to be an exciting game. They do a great job up there.”