Gadsden City lost the season opener with Tuscaloosa County (24-6), who holds a perfect 4-0 record in 6A. The Titans defeated the two region opponents next on the schedule in Huffman (28-0) and Pinson Valley (17-7), who each have one win for the season.
The undefeated Oxford Yellow Jackets (4-0) crossed the county line last week and dealt a region loss to the tune of 24-14.
The Titans are not making excuses, but they are not full strength with one five-star prospect, wide receiver Kendall Kelly, spending a lot of time on the sidelines this season. His senior stats include two catches for 56 yards.
"Kendall, injured with severe groin pull," coach Billingsley commented. "Working hard to get well. Seeing 15 or so plays per game."
Kelly's daily match-up in practice is five-star defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick. His season stats include 19 tackles, two interceptions, five pass break-ups and one touchdown. He has also added two rushes for nine yards.
"Exciting and can change the game at any time with his athletic ability," Billingsley said of Kirkpatrick, also rated as the No. 1 player in the state by ScoutSouth.com.
Darrell Smith, 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior tight end, has one catch for 44 yards.
"Darrell is fighting back from an injury," Billingsley explained. "Played a great game against Oxford. He is a man on a mission. His offers have been from UAB, Jacksonville State, Middle Tennnessee, Arkansas State, Troy, Southern Miss."
Chris Thornton, 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior running back, has 34 rushes for 192 yards.
"No confirmed offers, but being looked at by Murray State, Mississippi State, Alabama, Tennessee Tech," Billingsley said.
Kelvin James, 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior running back, has rushed 55 times for 245 yards and added three receptions for 22 yards with two touchdowns.
D.J. Huff, 5-foot-10, 155-pound defensive back and class of 2010, has made 27 tackles, three interceptions and six pass break-ups.
Dale Trimble, 5-foot-10, 160-pound defensive back and class of 2010, has 13 tackles, one caused fumble, one interception and seven pass break-ups.
"No confirmed offers yet, but much interest is being shown by Tennessee, Florida, Clemson," Billingsley said of Trimble.
The 5A Blue Devils enter the contest 1-3 for the season, but the record may not reflect the talent of this 2008 team.
They lost the season opener to 4A Lincoln who stands with a 4-0 record. The Blue Devils took on the next two teams in their region with a loss to Ft. Payne (22-13) and Madison County (14-12). They pulled out a win over region opponent, Albertville, 21-14.
Etowah senior linebacker David Hawkins has on his game face and eager for the Titans to visit his home turf.
“I think we are going to win,” Hawkins told ScoutSouth.com from his home in Attalla. “I think they are in for a big shock this week. We want to come out and hit them in the mouth from the opening play. We want to play with a lot of emotion and pride. This is a big game because of the rivalry between the two schools."
Coach Joe Billingsley feels the Titans are motivated for this lower classification team in spite of the tough loss to Oxford last week.
"Our players were disappointed, but not down," he said. "Etowah is a huge game, and our players are looking forward to the challenge."
Arrive early for this battle because the fans turn out in full force in support of the two teams which reside in Etowah County. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Jim Glover Field in Attalla.
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Reach Andrew Bone at email@example.com.