GADSDEN, Alabama -- The Gadsden City Titans used a strong defense to hold off Oxford in a 17-9 win in a non-region game at Titan Stadium on Thursday night. The Titans had a few starters off on offense and the defense held Oxford to just one touchdown and a field goal on the night.
Gadsden City improves to 4-2 on the season as the Titans were without their running back C.J. Miller. "We over came a lot with our starting running back out tonight," said Titans head coach Ali Smith. "He has been very crutial to us with a couple other injuries up front with some lineman. We had young guys that were fighting tonight. It was a running back by committee and our young guys fought. The defense played well but we have to clean up some penalties that really cost us."
The first time Oxford touched the ball, they had one of their best drives of the night as the running back committee of Miguel Mitchell, Jordan Dobbins and Nick Merriweather had the Yellow Jackets in scoring position. The drive fell short of a touchdown, but Rey Barrera kicked a 32-yard field goal and with 2:33 left in the first quarter, Oxford led 3-0. Running backs Jaydon Thomas and Damious Wilson have been out due to injuries and the Yellow Jackets had to bring players of the defense to run the football in this game.
Gadsden City took the ball right back after the kickoff and drove the ball for their first score of the game. With 11:02 left in the second quarter, Justin Peoples scores on a 4-yard touchdown run and the Titans took a 7-3 lead. A Djavi Byers 15-yard run and a long catch by Khamari Smith setup the Titans first score.
Gadsden City came back to score again right before halftime. Running back Khalil Hughley broke open a 25-yard run followed by a Luke Waldrop pass to Mason Johnson that setup a 25-yard field goal by Gabriel Brito. With the score, Gadsden City took a 10-3 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Titans had the ball but Jordan Dobbins picked off a pass and gave the ball back to Oxford. The Yellow Jackets couldn't take advantage of the good field position and had to punt back to the Titans early in the second half.
With over five minutes left in the third quarter, Jordan Dobbins picked off his second pass of the game and gave the Oxford offense a short field. Again, the Yellow Jackets couldn't take advatange of the turnover. "Our defense worked extremely hard, they gave up a couple explosive plays but overall they had a good game," said Yellow Jackets head coach Sam Adams. "We kept forcing turnovers and we missed a lot of opportunities on offense. We had shots but didn't take advantage of it. I'm proud of our guys. Our guys for week to week are getting extremely better."
After a Titans defensive hold, Gadsden City marched down the field and with 2:00 left in the third quarter, Waldrop connected to Clyde Curry on a 56-yard touchdown pass and the Titans extended their lead to 17-3 late in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Oxford strikes again. The running back committee of Jordan Dobbins, Mitchell and Merriweather put the Yellow Jackets in the red zone. With 8:28 left in the game, Sam Robertson found Mikey Tippets on an 11-yard touchdown pass for a score. The extra point was missed but Oxford trimmed the Gadsden City lead to one score at 17-9 early in the fourth quarter.
With 3:42 left in the game, Jordan Dobbins came up with another turnover as he recovered a Titans fumble that gave the Yellow Jackets another chance to tie the game. Again, the Oxford offense fell short and Gadsden City went on for the win.
For Oxford, Jordan Dobbins had two interceptions along with a fumble recovery along with a few tackles in the game. On offense, he had 16-yards on three carries. The senior linebacker was all over the field along with getting some offensive snaps at running back.
Up next both teams go back to region play as Oxford travels to Arab in two weeks as they are off next week, while Gadsden City will host Tuscaloosa County.