Special teams play big role in Etowah win over Center Point


Photo: Etowah High’s NyNy Davis (1) blocks a punt by Center Point’s Chris Sykes during the Blue Devils’ 24-14 victory in the second round of the Class 5A state football playoffs last Friday (Nov. 16) in Birmingham. (Al.com/Butch Dill)

By Adam Crocker/Sports Correspondent

A pair of touchdowns by the special teams sparked Etowah High to a 24-14 victory over Center Point last Friday (Nov. 16) in the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association state playoffs at Center Point.
The win earned the Blue Devils (12-0) a berth in the quarterfinal round for the second straight season. Etowah hosts Central Clay County (9-3) this Friday (Nov. 26) in Attalla.
Ny Ny Davis blocked two punts that resulted in touchdowns. The first was recovered by Davis at the Eagle 1 that led to Brady Troup’s TD run midway through the second quarter and provided the Blue Devils with a 16-0 lead.
The second came with a little over 10 minutes left in the game. Lester Phillips fell on the ball in the Center Point end zone. Trent Davis’ three-yard punch counted for the two-point conversion to make it 24-8.
“We came in all week planning on being conservative,” said Etowah Head coach Drew Noles. “We felt like if we could end drives with kicks – which we did all but one – we’d have a chance. [Center Point] has got great speed, (and) our defense did a good job. We really had some guys really step up for us big tonight. We did enough to win the game.”
Trent Davis rushed 35 times for 95 yards. Troup was 3-for-4 through the air for 19 yards.
Phillips recorded a sack.
Each team took a turn at the ball until the 7:27 mark in the first quarter, when Phillips stopped the Eagles’ Tiger Wilborn in the end zone for a safety, making it 2-0.
After a Center Point punt, the visitors did not wait long to add six to the scoreboard, this time off of Troup’s 13-yard TD pass to Emil Smith. Eric Edge’s PAT was good, making it 9-0 with 6:56 remaining in the second period of play.
A three-and-out led to Davis’ blocked punt Troup’s one-yard scoring dash. Edge’s PAT made it 16-0 with 5:38 remaining in the first half of play.
The Eagles (6-6) got on the scoreboard off Kobe Collier’s 60-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. Roderick Orr’s three-yard reverse run was good for the two-point conversion, making it 16-8 with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter.
Center Point drew within 10 points by way of Kendall Calloway’s 44-yard touchdown pass to Orr. The two-point conversion attempt failed, making it 24-14 with 8:46 remaining in the game.

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