By Lew Gilliland/Fort Payne Times-Journal
No. 10-ranked Fort Payne erupted for 28-unanswered points in the second quarter and cruised to a 35-18 victory over visiting Etowah in the Class 5A, Region 7 opener for both squads Friday.
Fort Payne (2-0) avenged a 21-14 loss to the Blue Devils (1-1) last season.
Luke Jennings started the second-quarter barrage with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Dale Jackson III, then scored on an 18-yard run to give Fort Payne a 14-12 edge with 5:19 to play before halftime.
Zach Magnusson scored on a 19-yard pass from Jackson, and after teammate Blake Smith intercepted an Etowah pass and returned it 29 yards to the Blue Devils’ 43, Magnusson hauled in his second scoring strike two-plays later to make it 28-12 with 12.5 seconds remaining before intermission
Jennings scored on a 34-yard run with 11:41 to play, pushing the margin to 35-12.
Etowah built a 12-0 lead in the first half by taking advantage of two Fort Payne turnovers.
After an interception, the Blue Devils scored on a 23-yard pass from Tyler Bishop to Coley McGowan. Following a Fort Payne fumble, Devin Horton ran three yards for a 12-0 lead with 11:48 left in the first half.
Bishop added a 16-yard touchdown pass to Dominic Pinson with 1:52 to play.
Etowah continues region play next week with a home game against Brewer.