By Phil Swindall/Messenger Sports Correspondent
Etowah’s game against Alexandria on Aug. 30 may have proven that Devin Horton may be the next “Cadillac” to come out of Attalla.
The first half of the game was played out mostly between the 20’s before the Blue Devils broke loose in the second half on the way to a 27-14 win.
Etowah head coach Sam McCorkle suspended five starters prior to the game, and two other key injuries let to a starting lineup with five freshmen against the Class 4A Valley Cubs.
The hosts kicked off the second half with a key turnover recovery on the first play of the third quarter. That turnover resulted in a 13-yard touchdown run by junior halfback Devin Horton. With a missed extra point kick, Etowah had a 13-7 lead that the Blue Devils never relinquished.
The Blue Devils defense stopped Alexandria after two first downs into the next possession, and Horton returned the ensuing Valley Cub punt for a 60-yard touchdown, giving the Devils a 19-7 lead at 6:26 of the third.
The next possession for Alexandria ended in a 75-yard touchdown pass and a successful PAT, increasing the Etowah lead to 19-145 with five minutes and change left in the third quarter.
The Etowah defense had one more chance to hold off Alexandria halfway through the fourth quarter. The Valley Cubs drove to the Etowah 22, when quarterback Tanner Wells was sacked by freshman Stacy Williams, giving the Blue Devils the ball on their own 22.
Later in the quarter, a 69-yard Etowah drive was highlighted by a long run by Horton, who made it to the Alexandria 20 with at least four Valley Cub defenders handing onto his legs for the final five yards of the run.
Blue Devil freshman Paul Ruiz capped that possession with a 6-yard scoring run. Ruiz’s two-point conversion run provided the Blue Devils with a 27-14 advantage with 2:11 remaining in the game.