Photo: Sardis High’s Sawyer Sims tries to bring down Etowah’s Jacara Mostella during the Blue Devils’ 58-13 victory in high school football on Sept. 13 in Sardis City. (Travis Greene/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Etowah High Blue Devils provided ample evidence as to why they are the state’s fourth-ranked football team in Class 5A.
The Atalla squad rolled up 456 yards and six touchdowns by halftime on the way to a 58-13 dismantling of Region 7 rival Sardis on Friday, Sept. 13, in Sardis City.
The visitors finished with 502 total yards while holding the Lions to 261.
Sardis’ first 10 possessions ended in six punts, two turnovers, a safety and a failed fourth down conversion attempt.
Both Lion scores – a 30-yard touchdown pass from Jay Owens to Taylor Minyard and Logan Edwards’ 13-yard TD run – came in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of reach.
Sardis had no answer for Etowah’s playmaking Davis duo. In just one half of action, Trent rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns on only seven carries, while Ny Ny (pictured above) caught four passes for 135 yards and two TDs and ran back a punt 60 yards for another score.
Brady Troup was a solid 7 for 9 in passing for 205 yards and three scores, all in the first half.
“[Sardis] is really good up front on offense, so I’m really proud of how our defense held up,” said Etowah head coach John Holladay. “We made some explosive plays on offense and I thought our offensive line played really well. I thought that Brady Troup had a really good night. We also got to play a lot of youngsters tonight, which is good for morale.”
For the Lions (1-2, 1-1), Owens completed 6 of 12 passes for 99 yards. Brody Samples rushed for 50 yards on four carries, while Luke Morris ran 18 times for 40 yards.
“Etowah’s a great football team and I’m not taking anything away from them, but I was really disappointed in our tackling, especially in the first half,” said Sardis head coach Gene Hill. “With a team as good as Etowah, you can’t give them second-chance opportunities. We had good field position in the first half and our offense made some first downs, but we just couldn’t get any stops.”
The Blue Devils (4-0, 2-0 got the proverbial ball rolling on their second play from scrimmage when Trent Davis took it to the house from 81 yards out after breaking a tackle in the backfield.
Etowah broke the game wide open in the second quarter with five touchdowns on five possessions.
Trent Davis ran for a 1-yard touchdown four seconds into the frame, followed by three touchdowns passes by Troup – the first to Ny Ny Davis for 25 yards, the second to Ollie Finch for 39 yards and the third to Ny Ny Davis for 54 yards.
An interception by Trevor Gladden set up John Holladay’s 43-yard touchdown pass to Davion Robinson with 2:38 left before the half to make it a 42-point cushion.
The Blue Devils opened the second half with a 16-play, 74-yard drive that drained off most of the third quarter clock and resulted in William Cox’s 1-yard touchdown run.
Chris Gatttis recovered a Sardis fumble late in the period. The Blue Devils went three-and-out but tackled the Lion runner in the end zone for a safety and a 51-0 lead.
On the ensuing Sardis punt, Ny Ny Davis gathered in the ball and out-raced the Lion coverage team to the end zone and a 58-0 advantage.
Both teams continue region play next week. Etowah hosts Southside, while Sardis visits Douglas.