The regular season of high school football is winding down this week; however, that didn’t stop the Thursday Night Lights shining in Gordo for a non-regional, cross-town rivalry, as the Gordo Green Wave (8-2, 5-1) defeated the Pickens County Tornadoes (8-2, 7-0) 43-14. 

Both defenses dominated out of the gate— the Tornadoes only allowed 10 yards for the explosive Green Wave offense on its first drive and on the next drive, Pickens County picked off Gordo quarterback Tanner Bailey. The Tornadoes got the early hat trick after a forced fumble from running back Rayshawn Williams on the first snap of the third drive.

“We had a short week. We gotta practice better so we can play better," Gordo head coach Ryan Lolley said. "If we clean it up the sky’s the limit, if we don’t, they’ll be shooting basketballs soon.”

Gordo brought its defense too, forcing two three-and-outs and a turnover on downs on Pickens County’s first three drives. 

Pickens County's defense sacked Bailey on the next drive, forcing a 3rd-and-24. All signs pointed to another defensive stand. Fortunately for the Green Wave, the fourth time was the charm, and after two explosive plays from Bailey, Gordo got on the board. First, a 24-yard pass to wide receiver Jace Hathcock, and then a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ben Capps. Gordo leads 7-0. 

The Green Wave tried an unsuccessful on-side kick. Although Gordo didn’t recover it the defense rattled the Tornadoes. Gordo’s defense held Pickens County to only 19 yards and forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back which allowed Williams to score his first touchdown of the night on a 16-yard run.

Pickens County refused to go down without a fight. The Tornadoes stormed down the field and scored on a 16-yard run by running back Adonta Warner. The drive lasted 15 snaps and covered 76 yards, which took the score into the half 14-7 in favor of Gordo. 

Coming out of the half, Pickens County received the ball, and turned it over on downs.

Williams got Gordo down to the 2-yard line where Bailey rushed in for a score of his own, putting Gordo up 20-7 after a blocked extra point. 

The Green Wave defense forced two more turnovers on downs and boosted its lead with two huge plays: a 42-yard pass to wide receiver Christopher Neel and a pick-six by Capps put Gordo up 34-7. 

Pickens County’s resiliency continued to shine, as the Tornadoes drove down the field on an explosive 5-play, 80-yard possession, with Warner scoring his second touchdown on a 1-yard run. Pickens County still trailed 34-14. 

“I didn’t like our fight back in the second half, we let a lot of things slide. We have to get better up front. If we can’t block people, we can’t win games,” said Pickens County head coach Michael Williams. 

Gordo RB Willie Fonville sealed the game with four carries for 51 yards and a touchdown to extend the Green Wave lead 41-14.

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The Tornadoes' last drive was a three-and-out deep in its territory and would fumble the punt snap into the end zone to give Gordo a safety to end the game 43-14. 

“We both get to represent our county," Lolley said. "They have a good team and so do we, hoping for the best for both groups."

Next Friday, Pickens County hosts the 1A R8 Phillips Bear Creek Bears (4-6, 4-3). Gordo hosts the 4A R7 North Jackson Chiefs(5-4, 5-2), in the first round of the playoffs. Both play in the North bracket and kick off at 7 PM CST.

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