West Gadsden wrapped up the 2009 campaign last Friday night on the road against the Florida High Seminoles. The Panthers were looking to get off the snide and finish the season with a win in Tallahassee.
It started the Panthers way as quarterback Carlton McWhite hit receiver Larico Dickey for a 60-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to give them the early lead.
The Panthers then gave life to Florida High when they fumbled inside the 10-yard line to set up the 'Noles first score, but West Gadsden still held the 8-6 lead when the 'Noles failed to convert the extra point.
Solid defense helped West Gadsdentake that8-6 leadinto the half.
The third quarter started with more turnovers for the Panthers as they again put the ball on the ground on a mishandled snap and that set up Florida High’s second touchdown which gave the 'Noles the lead early in the quarter. In the fourth, a 75-yard pick 6 ended the Panthers hopes of pulling off the upset and ended what head coach Antonio Bradwell called a disappointing season.
"We were in every game but two this year with a chance to win at the endin all of them," he said.
Florida High scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to take home the win 20-8.
Turnovers killed the Panthers in this game with the turnover margin being plus three in favor of Florida High.
"Our defense played great. It's frustrating when you turn the ball over on a short field and when we do it on center exchanges or handing off to the backs they were not all forced by the defense" said Bradwell. "Overall we played wellagainst Florida High, who won the district."
Offensive leaders were quarterback Carlton McWhite whofinished the night with 140 yards in the air and a touchdown and tailback Charles Colston, who ran for 62.
The defense was led by Charles Colston who had 12 tackles, a forced fumble and also recovereda fumble. Dustin Chason added nine tackles on the night.
With only four seniors on this West Gadsden team Bradwell is excited going in to next season.
"I think we will benefit from our close games going in to next year, we will be a year older and better," he said.
The four Panther seniors are Dustin Chason, Larico Dickey, Mario Williams and Brickler Gammon.
The Panthers finish the season 0-10 and 0-5 in district play.