Sewanee, GA -The Gardendale Rockets came up short in a long road trip in week 1of the Alabama high school football season. The Rockets first road game in Metro Atlanta ended with a hard fought 50-41 loss at North Gwinnett High’s Tom Robinson Memorial Stadium.
The setback drops the Rockets to 0-2 for the first time since falling to Muscle Shoals and James Clemens in the first two weeks of the 2017 season.
Gardendale quarterback, Mac Beason finished the game with an impressive 333 yards, competing 16-of-36 passes, highlighted by three well-executed touchdown throws and a pair of rushing scores. A first half interception was the lone blemish on a standout performance.
The start of the contest was reminiscent of the Rockets Week 0 setback at the hands of the James Clemens Jets, as they fell behind 14-0 early. Nevertheless, they rallied back, managing to equalize the score at 28-all at the half. A pivotal moment in the first half came when Gardendale’s resilient defense executed a crucial goal-line stand and blocked a Bulldog punt, effectively tilting the momentum in their favor.
Mac Beason’s aerial prowess was on full display, including standout touchdown passes covering 55 yards to Boogie Harris, 64 yards to Morgan Harris, and 43 yards to Jacoby Quates. Harris left an indelible mark on the game with a spectacular 59-yard run in the second half, tying the contest at 35 a piece.
However, the tide shifted decisively in favor of North Gwinnett, who secured the game’s final two touchdowns. Nicholas Bookman played a pivotal role by returning a punt for an astounding 88-yard go-ahead score. Quarterback Ryan Hall orchestrated a 2-point conversion, putting the Bulldogs up 43-35. Hall continued his impressive performance, capping it off with another touchdown on a 1-yard run, marking his third score of the game and extending the Bulldog lead to 50-35.
Hall’s individual display was nothing short of exceptional, amassing 173 yards on 10 carries, which included remarkable touchdown runs of 61 and 73 yards. His teammate, Julian Walters, made a substantial contribution as well, accumulating 180 yards on 22 attempts and notching a pair of first half rushing scores.
Gardendale will look to bounce back with a road trip to Kimberly to take on arch rival Mortimer Jordan (2-0) at Jimmie Trotter Stadium in Week 2 of the Alabama high school football season.