Gordon Central ballcarrier Omar Byrd and the rest of the Warriors face Dade County at Ratner Stadium.

Just two weeks ago, the Gordon Central High School football team got some time off because Calhoun City Schools had no school during their fall break.

Then last week, the Warriors didn’t have a game because it was their open date on the AA Region 6 schedule, giving them another break.

So now, with just two games remaining on the 2021 docket, can they, when it comes to the actual game on the field, just catch a break?

And we’re not talking about the type of break that comes from the last game they played — a 7-6 road loss to Coosa, which was also playing for its first win of the year.

Because that was just pure heartbreak.

The Warriors were 3-7 last year and one of the three teams they beat comes to town this Friday when Dade County invades Ratner Stadium.

The Trojans were just 2-8 in 2020 and Gordon Central topped them, 35-32, last October, but DC is in a different place this year, fighting for the Region 6 championship and needing a win this week to clinch a spot in the almost-here 2A state playoffs.

At 6-2, the Trojans have tripled the number of wins they have this year and they are 3-1 in the Region, tied for second place with Chattooga in the loss column with both of them behind league-leading Fannin County, which is 4-0 in the league after belting Chattooga, 42-7, last Friday for their first Region loss.

Pepperell is 2-2 and in fourth place in the Region with everyone else below .500 and pretty much eliminated from playoff contention.

Dade County stayed within range of 4-0 Fannin County last week with a 35-6 win over Coosa. The Trojans racked up 374 yards in total offense, including over 200 on the ground, and scored at least one touchdown in every quarter to defeat the Eagles.

The Trojans are led offensively by junior quarterback Brody Cooper and senior running back Cayden Cooper. Brody is second in the league in passing with 676 yards in seven games. Cayden is fourth in rushing yardage with 857 through that same amount of games for an average of 108.1 yards per outing.

The team with the Michigan stripes on their helmets also feature two of the top receivers in senior Brodie Swader and junior Zeke Wheeler.

For the Warriors, they just need to find a way to make the plays they didn’t make against Coosa to get a different outcome.

One could look at that fourth quarter against the Eagles when they missed an extra point, a field goal, and fumbled the ball away inside the Eagle 25 in the final minute when they still had a chance to win it with a field goal, as the reason they let that one get away.

And there’s no question all of that contributed to the setback.

But the high school game is 48 minutes long and the Warriors were totally hindered in the first half when the home team ran 39 plays from scrimmage while Gordon Central snapped the ball 15 times, and six of those came in the final 97 seconds before halftime when they were backed up to start at their own five.

The Eagles first drive of the game was 11 plays and they converted two third downs before the Warriors held on fourth-and two at their 35.

Their second drive took 14 plays and they were successful on two third downs and one fourth down with the possession resulting in their only touchdown of the night early in the second quarter.

Their third ownership of the ball saw 14 snaps and it looked like they were going to add to that lead until GC forced a fumble near the goal line and senior linebacker Isaac Campuzano recovered with just 1:37 to go until halftime.

And on that drive, the Eagles converted in three third down plays and another fourth down to continue their game of keepaway.

The Warriors, to their credit, did keep battling however and had their chances in the fourth quarter to overcome everything to that point but just came up short.

Take off Friday night at Ratner stadium is 7:30 p.m.


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