Gaylesville, with its huge offensive line, featured a power running attack keyed by transfer tailback Gage Davis. Cedar Bluff countered with its big-play offense. In the end, the Trojans emerged with a 40-39 victory but had to withstand a 2-point conversion attempt with 6.6 seconds on the clock that would have given Cedar Bluff the win.
“We knew they had a good team. We felt like we had a good chance to win the game, which we did. Like I told our kids, ‘They made one more play than we did.’ That’s really what it came down to and I don’t know any other way to put it,” Cedar Bluff coach Jonathan McWhorter said.
Trailing 40-33, Cedar Bluff scored on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Dalton Cosby to D’Shawn Fife with 6.6 seconds left. The Tigers elected to go for the win but Fife was stopped at the 1-yard line. Cedar Bluff recovered an onside kick but a desperation pass was incomplete as time expired.
Fife scored on runs of 65 and 27 years in addition to his touchdown reception. Cosby also had scoring passes of 24 yards to D.J. Chapman and 19 yards to Bubba Dixon. Cosby added a 45-yard scoring run and Dixon had an 80-yard kickoff return touchdown for Cedar Bluff.
Davis scored on runs of 41, 18 and 11 yards for Gaylesville. Quarterback Cole Murphy scored on a 1-yard sneak and returned an interception about 45 yards for a touchdown. The Trojans C.J. Williamson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for Gaylesville.
The win ended a generation of frustration in Gaylesville. The Trojans were last victorious in 1995 when few members of the current squad were even born.