A 30-yard pass from Dallas Tidwell to Ja’Micheal Willis broke a tie with 29 seconds left in the game, giving Gardendale a 26-19 victory at Buckhorn in non-region play Friday.
Willis had 72 receiving yards in four catches Friday night.
Buckhorn had tied the game with a 2-yard run by Rodderick Anderson late in the fourth period.
The scoring began with 4-yard run by Gardendale’s Christian Green with 9:33 left in the first quarter. Green finished the game with 26 rushing attempts for 76 yards and two touchdowns for the night.
Buckhorn fought back in the second quarter with a pass by Logan Traylor to Jesse Stoner.
The Bucks began the second half with a 47-yard return of a Tidwell interception by safety Sema’je Kendall.
In the fourth quarter, Green made a 15-yard sprint into the endzone, and the Rockets followed with another two-point conversion.
Anderson led the Bucks offense with 28 rushing attempts for 100 yards for the night.
Warren Delanie had five receptions for 84 yards. Gardendale’s Guy Vansant was their strongest defensive player, with 11 tackles.
Gardendale had 310 total yards, and Buckhorn had 239. Tidwell was 21-for-32 with two interceptions and 234 yards. The Bucks’ Logan Traylor was 6-for-11 for 116 yards, a typical night for Buckhorn’s run-oriented offense.
Gardendale tallied 15 first downs to Buckhorn’s 14.
The Rockets (4-1, 3-0 region) resume regional play next week as they travel to Northridge in Tuscaloosa County. A victory will nearly assure Gardendale of a playoff berth.