Photo: Etowah High’s Brady Troup (left) hands off to Davion Robinson during the Blue Devils’ 33-0 win over Guntersville last Friday (Nov. 9) in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs. (Travis Greene)
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Class 5A No. 1 Etowah remained perfect on the season as the Blue Devils rolled over Guntersville, 33-0, last Friday (Nov. 9) in the first round of the state playoffs at Jim Glover Field in Attalla.
Etowah (11-0) advances to take on Center Point (6-5) this Friday (Nov. 16) on the road in the second round of the postseason. Center Point traveled to Russellville in round one and won 22-8, so AHSAA travel rules dictate that the Eagles plays at home while Etowah must travel.
The Blue Devils held the Wildcats to four three-and-outs and forced three turnovers in the first half. Guntersville had -53 yards rushing and -21 yards overall in the first two quarters. The Wildcats (3-7) were shut down offensively all night, finishing the game with -6 total yards.
“This was a great team win tonight,” Etowah coach Drew Noles said. “I thought we ran the ball extremely well, and our defense played lights-out again.”
After a Guntersville three-and-out to start the game and 7-yard punt, Etowah began its first drive on the Wildcat 29-yard line. On the second play of the drive, running back Trent Davis found a seam and evaded several Wildcat defenders on his way to a 29-yard touchdown run. Eric Edge’s extra point gave the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead only two minutes and change into the game.
Etowah forced a three-and-out on Guntersville’s following drive, but the Blue Devils muffed a punt that was recovered by the Wildcats’ Jordan Burgess. The Guntersville offense continued its drive on the 39-yard line but once again stalled after only three plays.
The Wildcats forced a three-and-out, but the Blue Devil defense stood tall once again and took over on the Guntersville 46.
Davis led the offense down the field on six straight runs, and quarterback Brady Troup capped the drive off with a 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak. Edge’s second extra point of the evening gave the home team a 14-0 advantage with 31 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Guntersville’s fifth three-and-out of the night resulted in the Blue Devils securing field position in plus territory on the Wildcat 40-yard line. Troup connected with Deaundrea Williams on a 28-yard pass to start the drive, and Davis scored four plays later on a 2-yard run to extend the lead to 20-0 with 9:52 left in the first half.
The Wildcats then mounted their best drive of the game as they moved the ball into Etowah territory. However, on fourth-and-10, Etowah’s Derickey Wright intercepted a jump ball from quarterback Logan Pate near the end zone. The Blue Devils couldn’t convert the turnover into points but intercepted a pass on the next possession as Ollie Finch forced the turnover.
Etowah capitalized on that mistake, as the hosts quickly moved the ball into Guntersville territory. On the fourth play of the drive, Troup threw a screen to receiver Finch, who received an excellent block from Williams on his way to a 39-yard touchdown with 2:40 remaining in the second quarter.
Wright intercepted his second pass of the game on the next possession, but Etowah turned the ball over just before the half.
The Blue Devils added their final touchdown of the night on their second drive of the second half. Davis guided the offense down the field and he exploded for a 37-yard run to put Etowah in the red zone. On the following play, NyNy Davis took the handoff and scored from 18 yards out to give his team a 33-0 lead with 5:36 left in the third quarter. Guntersville’s Jordan Griffin blocked the extra point.
Trent Davis rushed 17 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns for the Blue Devils. Troup completed 8-of-12 passes for 115 yards and a score, while Finch caught four passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. Emil Smith hauled in two passes for 27 yards, while Williams snagged two passes for 31 yards.
Etowah outgained Guntersville 312 to -6. Jack Harris led the way offensively for the Wildcats as he caught two passes for 31 yards.