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Gardendale soars past Sparkman 34-20

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Harvest, AL – The Gardendale Rockets knocked off the 7A Sparkman Senators 34-20 Friday night to open the 2021 season.

The 6A Rockets, who held a 22-7 advantage at halftime, never trailed in their second consecutive victory over the Senators.  

The Rockets came out firing early as Eli Moore streaked through the Sparkman line, blocking a Senator punt for a safety and putting the Rockets up 2-0 a minute and a half into the contest.

Despite being out-gained 495 yards to 305, the Rockets took advantage of a couple of Sparkman miscues, pouncing on a pair of Senator fumbles.   

Gardendale quarterback Tyler Nelson, who was making his first start under center, accounted for three touchdowns. The junior bolted into the endzone on runs of 28 and 27 yards and connected with Logan Fitzgerald for a 15 yard third quarter score.  

Rockets running back LT Sanders, who currently holds eight Division I offers, paced the visitors on the ground pilling up 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 19 carries.  

Gardendale travels west next week to take on the Bessemer City Tigers before christening the new turf at Driver Stadium September 3rd against region rival and No. 1 ranked Pinson Valley.  

Sparkman returns to action next Friday in Alabaster against the defending state champion and top ranked Thompson Warriors.