Defense was the key to victory for the Rocket City Titans on May 17, 2014 to open up their Central North Division season of the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) with a 20-9 showing over the visiting Marvel City Tigers. The game was played at Milton Franks Stadium located in South Huntsville. The offense was sluggish at best to open the game and it had to rely heavily on the Titan defense to keep them in the contest. And that they did.
After the Tigers opened the game with a huge 46-yard kick return by Tony Rudolph down to the Rocket City 22-yard line, the defense stiffened and held the visitors for a 20-yard field goal try. The defense was called for encroachment on the first play from scrimmage, which gave Marvel City first-and-five from the 17-yard line.
The Tigers were set up with a third-down play, in which Mickey Jones was able to complete down to the 6-yard line and a first-and-goal opportunity for Marvel City. The Titan "D" proceeded to end the drive by the squad from Bessemer, AL. After the Tigers gained down to the one, Arrington Bryson sacked Jones for a loss of two yards and set up the field-goal attempt. Corey Walker did the honors and connected for an early 3-0 advantage by Marvel City and held onto that lead until the third quarter.
Rocket City finally got its motor running on offense in the second half and also had two points contributed in by the stingy Titan defense, which began the scoring in the third quarter. Marvel City was set up at its own 16-yard line on a second-down snap and Jones found himself trapped in the end-zone on pressure by Corey Lightford, Maurice Johnson, Ja'Cobie Edwards with 10:31 left in the third stanza for the defensive score.
On the Titan's next three ensuing drives, the score was busted wide-open and the defense was able to keep Marvel City in check until late in the fourth quarter. After the safety, Rocket City took over at its own 39-yard line and drove the 61 yards needed for the score with the use of seven plays, including a clutch fourth-down play for the score on a 17-yard strike by Gary Guilford to Justin Moody. The PAT was blocked and Rocket City held an 8-3 advantage with 5:35 showing on the game clock.
Marvel City was forced into a three-and-out on its next series and the Titans once again took over in good field possession at their opponent's 33-yard line. Traves Mallard ran the ball three times for the Titans and 13 yards, followed by two runs from Joshua Lewis with his final carry going the distance for a 17-yard scamper and touchdown. The 2-point pass attempt to Chris Penn fell short, but the Titans held a two-score advantage with a 14-3 score. Guilford added an 8-yard run with 2:51 left in the game for a 20-3 lead.
The defense of the Titans then fell asleep at the wheel allowing a deep 75-yard strike from Chris Calhoun to Timothy Hayes for the games final margin. However, Rocket City held on for the win and will travel next to take on the East Alabama Predators located in Opelika, AL. Stadium information: Moore Stadium, 7th Ave Opelika Alabama 36801.