Gordon Central (3-7, 3-4 region) withstood a furious Coosa Eagles’ (1-9, 1-6 region) rally in the final quarter to end their season with a 21-14 win at Eagle Stadium on Friday night.
The win marks the first time since 2012 the Warriors have gotten at least three region victories in a season, but it didn’t happen without some late-game fireworks.
Up 21-0 heading into the final frame, Gordon Central coughed up the ball three times in the span of seven minutes to give Coosa life. The Eagles took advantage on two of those turnovers, scoring first on a 72-yard throw and catch from Hayden McBurnett to Terry Curry, and later on a Curry passing score to Caleb Nichols.
With a minute and a half to play down 21-14, Coosa got a recovered onside kick off the foot of Jose Valerio, but subsequently turned it over on downs to effectively seal the game.
“Their heart put them over the top,” Gordon Central head coach T.J. Hamilton said of his team. “Our guys wanted it and they finished strong.”
The game’s opening possession saw the Warriors put together a methodical 89-yard drive that was capped by an 11-yard Nelson Gravitt touchdown run.
Gravitt, a senior, did not return to the game after the run and was replaced by Sean Grey.
Later in the first quarter, after a McBurnett pass was picked off by Gordon Central’s Issac Dye, Edwin Herrera punched it in from one yard out to give the visitors a two-score lead.
From there, Coosa’s defense did their best to keep the Eagles in the ballgame, recovering two fumbles in the second quarter on consecutive drives. However, two goal line interceptions on the ensuing possessions kept the home team scoreless.
Gordon Central scored their third touchdown of the night in the waning moments of the third quarter on a fake punt that Peyton Parker took 48 yards for what proved to be a pivotal score.
Hamilton was especially happy for the way his squad was able to send out a senior class that has been a part of a big turnaround at Gordon Central.
“This senior class has been special,” Hamilton said. “They were really wanting to get that playoff position, but I couldn’t be prouder of them and they’ve been absolutely fantastic.”