There was only 12 seconds left on the clock for Fitzgerald in the 4th quarter against their rival Upson-Lee. The Hurricanes were trailing 18-14, and the ball was lined up at the midfield mark. With only a play or two left in the game, Fitzgerald needed a miraculous play in order to win, and what they got was nothing short of it.
Junior wide receiver Chance Gamble was split out to the left; just a year earlier he had suited up for Upson-Lee, looking like a promising part to their young receiving corps, but now, the shade of purple was different, he was a Hurricane, and with no time left, it was time to take a gamble downfield.
Quarterback Rashad Davis dropped back, and heaved a bomb way up in the air, looking to see if the athletic junior receiver could somehow make a play.
The ball hung up, time seemingly stopped for a moment, all while Gamble was guarded heavily with a cornerback hot on his heels and a safety up top in support. But neither defender gauged the pass correctly, and by the time the ball had come down at the 15 yard line Gamble had slipped by both defenders to make a one handed catch that he pressed against his left shoulder pad. From there, Gamble scampered the final 15 yards for a touchdown, giving his team the go-ahead score, and the eventual victory over Gamble’s former team, Upson-Lee.
It was huge, and potentially a pivotal moment in the early season for the Hurricanes, a team that bounced around our rankings in the early season, and this week settles back in at #10. For the remainder of the year, Gamble has both team goals and individual that he would like to fulfill.
“Goals for me individually are being first team all region, first team all state, and 1000 yards receiving. Goals for my team are to win the region and state championship.”
Gamble was an athlete we got to see live at the Georgia Elite Classic last year. It seemed like Upson-Lee players were all over the place at the time, and he definitely did a nice job standing out among his peers showing good size at 6’2″ and route running. This offseason he worked on a number things to sharpen up his game.
“I feel like I have improved in many aspects of my game since last year, but the biggest change I have made to the way I play is my aggressiveness. I worked hard this past offseason with catching in traffic, and being aggressive with my hands, and it has definitely transferred over to the field.”
Gamble’s early season film definitely shows that aggressiveness, he is going up top, high-pointing passes over defenders with good positioning even. There sole loss this year has come from top ranked Irwin County, one of the best small schools in the country, and even then Gamble made some nice plays against their D1 caliber defensive backfield. The highly coordinated athlete plays baseball, and consistently shows strong hands when making a catch over the middle. After the catch he shows a lot of promise getting yards after contact with a good combination of pad level and elusiveness.
Gamble models his game after Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, saying, “I like the way he played and his personality on and off the field.”
That swagger will definitely help him achieve his goal at 1000-yards receiving, and put him in rare territory statistically in 2-A, a classification that traditionally runs the football a lot sans Rabun County. Right now, the junior is mostly focused on the season, but recruitment is also in the back of his mind, just not many schools have come calling, yet.
“I have not heard from many colleges yet. That is something that is obviously very important for me, but right now my main focus is helping my football team win games.” Gamble continued to talk about visits, “I do not have any visits planned as of right now but I hope to get a few lined up before the end of the year.”
No doubt, the visits are coming, and more highlight plays too, so stay tuned to @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to see latest on the Fitzgerald star junior and other athletes across the Peach State.