Gadsden City to play Pell City
Thu. October 04, 2012 at 9:51 p.m. | By J.J. Hicks Staff Writer
Gadsden City’s Christopher Lawrence runs over a defender during last week’s game against Auburn. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)
Class 6A, No. 9 Gadsden City will try to rebound from its first loss of the season when it returns to Region 7 action tonight at Pell City.
The then-No. 7 Titans fell to No. 3 Auburn 49-24 last week. They were torched by Tiger quarterback Cameron Echols-Luper for more than 300 total yards and four touchdowns.
The Gadsden City defense will need a solid effort with region play resuming and both the region championship and a home playoff spot to open the postseason remaining on the line.
The Titans (4-1, 3-0) are one of two undefeated teams in the region. The other is No. 2 Clay-Chalkville, which Gadsden City travels to play next week.
The Panthers come into the matchup with Gadsden City at 2-3 overall and 2-1 in the region
Pell City quarterback Austin Martin is a solid signal caller who can make plays. Casey Bishop is capable of putting up big numbers on the receiving end. DeMaurian Wills, at running back, completes a solid trio of offensive talent for the Panthers.
It’s been somewhat of a struggle for Pell City’s on defense.
In a 23-21 loss to Oak Mountain last week, the Panthers allowed three players to rush for at least 83 yards. For the season, Pell City is allowing almost 30 points per game, with every opponent having scored at least 17 points.
That bodes well for Gadsden City and its arsenal of offensive talent. The Titans are averaging more than 30 points per game.
Gadsden City will look to establish its ground game. Few teams can match the 1-2 punch in the backfield of Chris Lawrence and Trevor Sandridge. Either one is capable of a big game on any given Friday, with Sandridge getting the bulk of the carries and averaging almost six yards each time he touches the football. Lawrence has seven rushing touchdowns and is averaging almost 11 yards per carry.
Quarterback C.J. Moore also is capable of making plays with his feet if need be, and has thrown for 568 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
B.J. Hammond, Jordan Veasy and all-purpose threat LaGerald Malone give Moore targets in the air and will keep Pell City from putting too many players in the box. Hammond and Veasy are bigger, but athletic, receivers while Malone is a smaller, quicker player who is tough to bring down in the open field. The Titans like to get him the ball in multiple ways, including screen passes and handoffs in addition to downfield throws.