By Taylor Beck/Sand Mountain Reporter
After jumping out to the school’s first 4-0 start since 1984, Crossville suffered its fourth consecutive loss, this time at the hands of the Etowah by a score of 42-6 last Friday (Oct. 20).
For Etowah, the win essentially clinched first place in the Class 5A Region 7 playoff race. It is the Blue Devils first region title since 2011.
The game seemed to get away from the host Lions early on after Etowah (8-1, 6-0) jumped out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 42-0 lead at halftime.
Senior running back Cory Thomas was the first Blue Devil to put points on the board with a 54-yard touchdown run with 9:35 left in the first quarter.
Later at the 5:24 mark, senior running back Caleb Horton capped off an 80-yard drive with a touchdown run from 10 yards out.
With 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Thomas struck again for the Blue Devils, this time from 84-yards out. His scoring run pushed Etowah’s lead to 21-0. Thomas finished with 145 rushing yards and two touchdowns on three carries.
Less than 30 seconds into the second quarter, Horton made his second and final trip to the end zone on a 47-yard carry to put the Blue Devils up 28-0. Horton finished with 134 rushing yards and two scores on seven carries.
After Crossville punted away the ball with about seven minutes remaining in the half, Etowah sophomore quarterback Derickey Wright threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Emil Smith on the next play from scrimmage to extend the lead to 35-0. Wright finished 2-for-5 with 57 passing yards and a touchdown, coupled with 37 rushing yards on three carries.
On the Lions’ next possession, the Blue Devils’ junior cornerback Justin Harris forced a fumble and took it back 45 yards for the team’s final touchdown of the night, making the score 42-0 with under five minutes to play before intermission.
The Lions never could get going offensively until 11:27 was left in the ball game when senior quarterback Blanton Jones connected with fellow senior receiver Banks Jolley on a 40-yard touchdown pass.
The Blue Devils face Scottsboro this week for their region finale, while Crossville travels to take on region opponent Alexandria.