Etowah, Fort Payne set for region clash

Fort Payne (1-0) at Etowah (1-0)
Last week: Etowah 14, Alexandria 7; Fort Payne 46, North Jackson 0
2012 result: Fort Payne 35, Etowah 18
Series record: Etowah 21, Fort Payne 19

By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent

The Etowah and Fort Payne high school football teams both are coming off satisfying victories, so there should be a lot of hope on both sides headed into the Class 5A, Region 7 opener in Attalla.

“The thing about Fort Payne is that even the youngsters have played varsity football because of the lopsided wins,” Etowah coach Drew Noles said. “Most of them have gone in at some point and played a quarter or even a half.”

The Wildcats have a quarterback in Alan Smith who can throw deep to his talented and speedy receivers. Running back Devonta McKenzie returns from last year, as does Desmon Turner, a wide receiver who also fields punts.

“It’s going to be a tremendous battle for us,” Noles said. “We’ll have to show some improvement if we want to win.”

The ability to handle adversity is the main thing that Noles is looking for this week.

“We were very close to making big plays several times [against Alexandria],” he said. “We’d get a first down or whatever but were inches from breaking free for a touchdown. We’ve got a lot of new guys who I think will be making those plays before long.”

Last week against Alexandria, quarterback Kordell Rudolph was 9-of-15 passing for 68 yards.

Marquavious Britton led in rushing with 69 yards rushing on seven carries. Horton added 33 yards rushing on 12 carries.

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