Photo: Etowah’s Trace Thompson (1) gets past Southside’s Blake Phillips during the Blue Devils’ 42-26 victory in high school football on October 28 at Barney Hood Stadium. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
Etowah senior quarterback Trace Thompson threw for five touchdowns and ran for another in the Blue Devils’ 42-26 victory over Southside on October 28 at Barney Hood Stadium.
Etowah finished the regular season at 7-3 for the program’s 13th year with a winning record. The Blue Devils improved to 30-12 in a series dating back to 1932. It was the team’s second straight win over the Panthers, who fell to 5-5 on the year.
Trailing 14-0 late in first half, Etowah outscored Southside 22-0 through the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Thompson, who finished with 272 total yards, connected with Omareon Finch and Jameson Scissum for a pair of touchdowns each. Thompson was 14 for 25 in passing for 189 yards and rushed 14 times for 83 yards. Finch had six receptions for 93 yards, while Scissum caught four passes for 90 yards.
The Blue Devils found themselves in a 14-0 setback courtesy of Gauge Nesmith’s 1-yard scoring run two minutes into the game and Mason Teague’s 3-yard touchdown at 1:12 of the first quarter.
Etowah’s first three possessions resulted in punts, with the Blue Devils not crossing midfield until their first scoring drive. With 42 seconds left in the period, Thompson and Finch connected for a 14-yard touchdown. Alejandro Corona pushed the first of his six extra points on the night.
The Blue Devils then tied the game on Thompson’s 35-yard strike to Scissum at 9:12 of the second frame.
The Panthers regained the advantage on the next possession with Nesmith’s 59-yard TD pass to Jordan Bryan, but the visitors took the lead for good on a Thompson-to-Brady Carver touchdown pass of 14 yards, which made it 21-20 in favor of the visitors.
With 21 seconds left in the first half, Thompson and Scissum hooked up for a 14-yard touchdown and a 28-20 halftime lead.
A pair of Etowah scores in the third quarter essentially put the game away, the first on Thompson’s 4-yard run at 8:15 and the second by way of Thompson’s 54-yard strike to Finch at 4:53.
The hosts closed out the scoring with Nesmith’s 27-yard TD pass to Bryan at the 9:16 mark of the fourth period.
Nesmith was 22 for 36 in passing for 318 yards. Bryan caught nine passes for 135 yards, while Scotty Motes had seven receptions for 100 yards. Cayden McMichael caught three passes for 68 yards. Teague led Southside on the ground with 35 yards on 14 carries.
Both teams will compete in the first round of the state playoffs this Friday (Nov. 4). Etowah hosts Northside in 4A, while Southside travels to Class 5A No. 3 Ramsay.