The Panthers of West Gadsden defeated Sneads High 23-20 in a crucial home game on the leg of All-Area starting kicker, Isreal Grande. The Panthers struck first with a field goal by Grande, jumping to a 3-0 lead with 8 minutes left in the 1st quarter. The Pirates had a chance to tie the game with 1:43 left in the 1st period but missed the kick, giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead at the beginning of the 2nd period. Sneads turned the ball over on a fumble on their first drive of the 2nd quarter, allowing the Panthers to extend their lead. Junior quarterback Qwantrezz Knight hit senior tight end De’Vonta Gibson on a short pass in the middle of the field. Gibson caught the pass and quick-headed north for a huge score, pushing the Panther lead to 10-0. The Pirates fought back with a power run game that enabled them to progress down the field and score on a fade route with 4:10 left in the 1st half, cutting the Panther lead to 10-7.
Sneads continued to run the ball in the second half. It paid off for them when they scored on an electrifying run, taking their first lead of the game with a score of 14-10 in the 3rd quarter. Snead’s lead was short lived as the Panthers scored less than two minutes later when Gibson scored on another pass from Knight, giving the Panthers a 17-14 advantage.
The 4th quarter was ripe with intensity, leaving nearly every fan clinging to their seats, anticipating every play. Sneads snatched the lead from the Panthers once again on a rushing score of 20 yards with 8:54 left to play, but a blocked extra point attempt made the score 20-17. West Gadsden got a nice kick return by Tranquil Card that put them on Snead’s 42-yard line. Isreal Grande came through once again with a big field-goal, tying the game 20-20. The Pirates took their next drive down to the Panther’s 31-yard line, but Knight jumped a pass on 1st down and returned it to the Pirate’s 11-yard line with less than two minutes to play. Grande stepped onto the field with the game on the line and nailed the game winner with two seconds left to play, giving the Panthers a 23-20 victory.