By Amy Thrash, Sports Reporter (Photo by Marla Jones)
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — The Gardendale Rockets defeated the Fort Payne Wildcats 21-14 in the first round of the Class 6A Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) playoffs last Friday night.
In the first quarter with only 23 seconds into the game, Gardendale scored on a 66-yard touchdown run to give them the 7-0 lead. The Wildcats went three-and-out on their first possession. With 3:22 left in the first, the Rockets nailed a 37-yard field goal to make the score 10-0.
In the second quarter, Gardendale nailed another field goal to bring the score to 13-0 with 8:27 remaining in the first half. Donald Winchester scored on a 7-yard run, the PAT was good by Alex McPherson to make the score 13-7 with 3:35 left in the second.
To start the fourth, the Rockets scored from the 1-yard line, they went for 2 making the score 21-7 with 11:54 remaining in the game. Winchester scored on a 13-yard drive. The PAT was good to make the score 21-14 with 6:15 left in the fourth. The Wildcats defense forced a three-and-out to give the offense a chance to score but came up short. The Rockets ran the clock out to win the game 21-14.
“This is a disappointing end to a good season,” said Head Coach Chris Elmore. “I’m proud of the kids for taking an 0-2 team to region champs. We had our chance against Gardendale but didn’t quite make enough plays to win the game.”
Coach Elmore’s Offensive Player of the Week is Donald Winchester and the Defensive Player of the Week is Hunter Love.