Gadsden City takes on No. 2 Clay-Chalkville


Gadsden City’s LaGerald Malone and the Titans play No. 2 Clay-Chalkville tonight. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times | File)


Gadsden City tries to rebound from two consecutive losses tonight when the Titans face undefeated and second-ranked Clay-Chalkville in a Class 6A, Region 7 high school football game.

The Titans travel to Pinson for the matchup after opening the season 4-0 before losing 49-24 to then-No. 3 Auburn in Week 5 and 21-19 to Pell City last week. Gadsden City is 3-1 in region play, but its playoff positioning remains a bit precarious.

Depending on how the Titans fare down the stretch and its region opponents do as well, Gadsden City could finish as region champions or out of the playoffs altogether. If the Titans win out in the region, they will be the top seed. If they lose two more region contests and Oxford runs the table while Pell City does not lose their final three region games, that would leave them out of the postseason.

While winning two of the last three in region play seems easy enough, the road does not appear as smooth on paper. After the Cougars tonight, Gadsden City welcomes Grissom (2-4, 1-3) before hosting Huntsville (5-1, 3-1). The latter is one of the teams battling Gadsden City for region supremacy and is led by Alabama commitment Grant Hill, a 6-foot-6, 315 pound offensive lineman.

Before that, Gadsden City must deal with Clay-Chalkville, which is outscoring opponents by an average of 42-15 per game. In a 25-16 win over Oxford in Week 2, the Panthers held highly regarded junior running back Racean Thomas to 35 yards rushing on 15 carries. The next week, Thomas raced for 255 yards on 25 carries against Gadsden City, while also having an 83-yard touchdown run called back by a penalty.

Clay-Chalkville does not lack offensive playmakers, either. Quarterback Hayden Moore is one of the more dangerous dual-threat signal-callers in the state,  and he is surrounded by plenty of talent.

Tailbacks Sidney Battle and Terrelle West complete a trio of players who can break a touchdown run from anywhere on the field.

Receivers DeAndre Woods and Brian Clark are capable of giving the Gadsden City secondary a tough test.

The Titans will look to get their offense back on track after scoring just 43 combined points in its last two games after averaging 32 points per game through Week 4.

Chris Lawrence has emerged as arguably Gadsden City’s top runner after Trevor Sandridge held the title for the first few weeks of the season. Both should see the field plenty against Clay-Chalkville. Lawrence has 663 yards rushing while Sandridge has 475 yards.

Quarterback C.J. Moore has 724 yards passing and nine touchdowns to just three interceptions on the season. His top targets include Jordan Veasy, LaGerrald Malone and B.J. Hammond, who committed to Mississippi State in June.

Defensively, the Titans have struggled at times but have the talent to slow down just about any offense they face. Linemen Rodney Edwards and University of Mississippi commitment Finesse Middleton, along with linebackers T.J. Posey, Blake Worthy and Rashad Carter are solid at their positions.