Series record: West End 22, Gaston 12, one tie
Last meeting: 2011 – Gaston 18, West End 6
Last week: Sand Rock 28, West End 13; Ider 42, Gaston 12
By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent
The last two Etowah County teams without a victory this year go head-to-head in Class 2A, Region 7 action, so at least one won’t go winless. And that win will come over another county team, making it even a bit sweeter.
“It’s two county teams that have been rivals for a long time,” West End coach Randy Hallmark said. “It’s a big game for both teams and I think both teams will be fired up.
And this is the only county team we play this year, not counting Westbrook which is in the county, but not part of the county system.”
Both coaches cite the need to take care of the football as essential to their team’s success, as that has been a problem this year.
“I think it’ll be an even match and whoever does the little things best should win,” Gaston coach Josh Averett said. “We’ve both struggled this year and turnovers have played a big part in that, for both teams.”
While Hallmark is worried about the Bulldogs’ speed, Averett said his main concern is size.
“We haven’t handled speed very well this year,” Hallmark said. “And Gaston will line up in different formations and will sometimes even run the option. I told the defense that if there’s a blown assignment when they run the option, I’ll know who broke down because that is assignment defense where you’re responsible for one man.”
Said Averett, “They’re bigger than us, especially up front. But we probably have better athletes. Again, it’s going to come down to who executes.”
Last week against Sand Rock, Levi Weems completed 7-of-20 passes for 161 yards. He also rushed for 59 yards on 13 carries.
Chase Blanton added 52 yards on 14 carries, while Caleb Epperson caught four passes for 50 yards.
For Gaston against Ider, Jordan Douglas threw a touchdown pass to Justin Bogle, while Jalen Britton rushed for a TD.