Gardendale blasts Sparkman 22-7

Gardendale, AL – The Gardendale Rockets (1-0) blasted into the 2020 football season with a convincing 22-7 victory over the Sparkman Senators (0-1).

The win gave the Rockets their first victory over a 7A program since they knocked off James Clemens in 2016.  

The Senators jumped on the scoreboard early as signal caller Nicholas Sawyer paid off a Sparkman interception with a 10 yard touchdown run early in the opening stanza to give the visitors from the Tennessee Valley their only points of the night. 

Gardendale got on the board with a pair of 25 yard Colby Thomas field goals  to go into the locker room trailing 7-6 at the half.

After the break, the Rockets rattled off 16 points, beginning with an opening possession seven yard toss from Will Crowder to Caden McGruder.  L.T. Sanders added a rushing score from just inside the Senator 25 yard line to put the home team up by a pair of scores midway through the third quarter.  

The Rocket defense sealed the deal nailing Sawyer in the endzone for a safety.

West Virginia commit Will Crowder ended the game with 122 yards and a score through the air, completing 10-of-17 passes, while putting up 70 yards on the ground.  L.T. Sanders was an offensive workhorse, pilling up 123 yards rushing while hauling in a pair of Crowder passes for 27 yards.  Caden McGruder snagged five catches for 44 yards and a score.  Colby Thomas spit the uprights for a couple of 25 yard field goals and a pair of PAT’s. 

Sparkman quarterback Nicholas Saywer ran for 45 yards and a touchdown while passing for 29, connecting on 3-of-8 throws with one interception.  Clifton Shaw hauled in five catches for 18 yards, A.J. Lucus carried the ball five times for 16 yards.  

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Laron White’s Senators as they welcome the defending state champion Thompson Warriors to Harvest next Friday night.  

Gardendale travels to Smith’s Station (1-0) to take on their second consecutive 7A squad