DECATUR — No. 9 Austin fought off a late surge by Gadsden City to grab a Class 7A, Region 4 win by beating the Titans 17-6 Friday night.

The Black Bears (4-0) led by 17 for most of the game until Gadsden City scored on a 71-yard touchdown pass on third-and-19 with 6:23 left in the fourth. The Titans then got the ball back and drove to the Austin 2-yard line before a penalty and a failed field goal attempt put the game away.

Austin’s inability to finish drives kept Gadsden City (0-4) around despite the double-digit deficit.

Austin drove to the Gadsden City 13-yard line in the third quarter, but quarterback Quincy Crittendon threw an interception in the end zone. That would’ve given the Black Bears a 24-point lead.

Running backs Kendall Scales and Jevon Jackson were given a lot of touches, with senior running back Tybo Williams being sidelined with an injury. Both had first-half touchdowns. Jackson’s touchdown was from 29 yards out, while Scales scored from a yard out.

Jackson had been battling the flu all week, and Perkins didn’t know if he would play until late in the week.

Still, Scales and Jackson did what they needed to do to keep the run game afloat. Scales rushed for 93 yards on 16 carries. Jackson added 71 yards.

Austin continues region play next week with a road trip to Milton Frank Stadium in Huntsville to face Grissom. Gadsden City returns home to host Bob Jones, also in region action.