Bob Jones wins playoff thriller
Bob Jones found out Friday night that no lead is too big. The Patriots saw a 35-3 second quarter lead disappear like smoke as Gadsden City came roaring back to score 27 straight points. In the end the Patriots defense had enough left for the biggest stop of the season as they turned away one last drive to hang on for a 35-30 victory.
“This was probably our toughest game of the season,” said Kevin Wright who accounted for three touchdowns. “They had some great players on defense like coach said, very athletic. But we came to play; we didn’t care about their size.”
Bob Jones jumped out quickly scoring touchdowns on their first 4 possessions. A sky kick on the opening kickoff was fielded by Chris Fletcher and returned into Titan territory. From there, Ben Washington turned a short pass into a 40-yard touchdown reception.
After Dylan Haraway recovered a fumble caused by his brother Dustin, Bob Jones struck again as Jay Rogers went in from six yards out. Later in the first quarter Kevin Wright bolted 24 yards for the Patriots third touchdown to go up 21-0.
With Gadsden City pinned deep in their end after a mishandled kickoff, the Bob Jones defense got a quick three and out. Kevin Wright then took a handoff and passed to Thomas Joa for a 21-yard touchdown.
Gadsden City finally got on the scoreboard with a 37-yard field goal but Bob Jones came right back when Wright scored from 24 yards out to make it 28-3. The Patriots capped an amazing first half when Seth Parker hit Wright streaking down the sideline on a 70-yard touchdown pass to go up 35-3.
Gadsden City kept plugging away and got a 4-yard touchdown run from Trevor Sandridge with 1:30 left in the half.
“We haven’t played anybody that has better players than they do,” said Bob Jones head Coach Kevin Rose after the game. “We were fortunate we jumped out to a big lead and thankful to escape with a win and move forward.”
Gadsden City scored on a long touchdown drive in the third quarter as quarterback B.J. Moore accounted for 283 total yards on 21 of 35 passing and he scrambled for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Two short punts by Bob Jones’ Mike Bernier gave Gadsden short fields to work with in the fourth quarter.
Gadsden City also got an interception returned for a touchdown when Finesse Middleton stepped in front of a Trey Bates screen pass.
Late in the fourth quarter and desperate for a first down, Coach Rose turned to Kevin Wright in the shotgun taking direct snaps. Wright scrambled for a key first down but was marked short when he slid feet first.
Gadsden City took over at the Patriots 39-yard line needing a touchdown to win. They reached the 13 yard line on a Moore scramble for a first down with 1:38 to play and out of time outs. But sacks by Patriot linebackers Drew Davis and Nick Holman pushed Gadsden City back to fourth down with 40 yards to go and a desperation heave fell incomplete.
“I expect it to be on my shoulders and that’s what I want,” said Wright who finished with 84 yards rushing on 14 carries and 3 catches for 113 yards. “Our defense did a great job and picked us up, I’m just proud of them. We came to play. We didn’t buy into their hype. We tried to run the ball down their throat.”
For the second season in a row Bob Jones advances to the second round of the playoffs. They will host Mountain Brook next Friday night. Mountain Brook defeated Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 23-14.