By Adam Crocker/Sports Correspondent
Etowah High finished off its regular season schedule on Friday (Oct. 30), with a 41-0 shutout of Saint Clair County on Senior Night in Attalla.
“It was a weird game, but our guys played hard,” said Etowah head coach Drew Noles. “I thought we came out and made some mistakes early, but we overcame that. We’re doing a lot better job now of handling adversity.”
It was the Noles 100th career win as a head coach.
The teams traded scoreless possessions until the 7:02 mark of the first quarter. The Blue Devils (7-3, 5-1) started their scoring drive at midfield. Junior quarterback Andy Noles connected with A.J. Taylor for a nine-yard gain, then Paul Ruiz gained 15 yards on the ground. Darius Moore ended the series with from 26 yards out. Raul Hernandez’s PAT was good, making it 7-0.
After a Saint punt, the hosts chalked up a five-play, 52-yard scoring drive. Stacy Williams took to the ground for 40 yards, then a horse collar penalty against the guests set up the hosts at the Saint 5, from where Williams scored. The extra point failed but Etowah led 13-0 five seconds into the second quarter.
St. Clair County (3-7, 2-5) resumed play with the ball but didn’t have it for long, as Michael Fischer’s pass was intercepted by Etowah’s Malik Wilson with 10:37 remaining in the half. Ruiz soon punched it in from eight yards out, and Hernandez’s kick was good for a 20-0 lead with eight minutes left in the half.
Lovell Cylar returned an interception for a 47-yard score with 4:21 remaining in the half. Hernandez’s PAT was good, making it a 27-0 Blue Devil advantage.
Etowah’s Cory Thomas recovered a fumble on a kickoff in the second half, setting up Etowah on the Saint 34. Moore punched it in from 12-yards out with 3:54 remaining in the third quarter. Hernandez’s kick was good, making 34-0.
Williams scored from 74 yard out with 2:19 left in the game. He finished with 141 yards on six carries. Andy Noles was 4 for 5 in passing for 23 yards.
“We came out hard and took care of business, and I was proud of that,” said Drew Noles.
Etowah hosts Parker next week in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.