Gadsden City travels to Huntsville
Thu. October 24, 2013 at 10:46 p.m. | By Kim Craft Sports Editor
Rodney Bozeman and the Gadsden City Titans can clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win over Huntsville. (Photo by Eric T. Wright | Gadsden Times | File)
No mystery surrounds what Gadsden City must do Friday night when the Titans travel to play Hunstville in Week 9 of the 2013 high school football season.
Win, and first-year Gadsden City coach and the Titans make the Class 6A state playoffs. Lose, and Titans won’t be among the top four seeds from Region 7 playing in Week 11 for a chance at winning a state championship.
Scott said the Titans understand the importance of this week’s last 6A, Region 7 game.
“We’ve had a good week of practice. There’s a lot at stake this week and the guys know it,” he said, explaining the players’ attitudes have been in the right place. “We’ve talked a lot, and we have all year, with the guys about how we’re young and inexperienced, but when you get to game nine you can’t claim that as much anymore. Hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time.”
Gadsden City (4-4, 4-2) needs to be playing at its best, especially on defense with Huntsville (5-3, 4-2) coming into the contest at Milton Frank Stadium averaging 32 points per game.
The Titan defense, basing out of a 4-3 scheme, is giving up an average of 15 points per game while allowing an average of about 200 yards per game.
Huntsville’s offensive schemes begin, and end a lot, with senior quarterback Brewer Hicklen.
“He’s a real dangerous passer and runner,” Scott said. “He’s not one of those guys you see with breakaway speed, but he’s a physical runner. I haven’t seen many plays where he’s run that he didn’t get 5 yards. He’s got a big physical line in front of him, too. It’s a tough combination to defend.”
When not running the ball, Hicklen will look to distribute it among several playmakers around him including, Fred Carodine, who likely will get a good many carries, Justin Jones and Kenneth Constan, who are capable of catching the football.
“They’re capable of hitting a lot of explosive plays in the passing game,” Scott said of the Panthers, who he described as being similar to the Titans in having athletes who can make big plays in the running and passing game.
“They spread it around pretty good,” he stressed. “When you have that balance and have the benefit of multiple playmakers, that’s what makes it tough.”
Scott and his coaching staff believe in having a balanced offense that make teams defend the entire field against the run and the pass.
“You’re going to play somewhere against somebody at some point if you can’t be balanced then it’s going to be a problem,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Scott said while the Titans “probably are not where we’re working to be,” as far as numbers indicate with offensive balance, “we’re starting to get there.”
Gadsden City’s quarterback situation remains unchanged, Scott said, adding that he feels confident as he has all season in playing Ahmad DeRamus, Sloan Tyler or Jay Copeland. DeRamus has seen the most playing time the past two weeks.
Sophomore receiver Darnell Mooney and junior defensive back D.D. Underwood “had a really good week at practice” for the Titans, and Scott said both are key players in the gameplan this week.
“I feel like hopefully we’re kind of hitting our stride,” Scott said. “We’ve gone through some transition, and anytime there’s a coaching change you’re going to have that. I think we’re finally getting into a routine and getting a feel for the mentality we want to play in and we’re finally grasping the manner in which we’re expected to play.”
The youth and inexperience Gadsden City began the season with continues it’s transformation under the direction of its new coach.
“It’s a big game,” Scott stressed. “I feel like it’d be a shame to stop playing now. I feel like we’re a much better team than we were when we started at the beginning of the year and we should be. Our kids are excited about it.”