A game that was lost earlier this season made itself available once again.
Etowah’s Week 2 matchup with Forsyth Central was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, but with each team having a bye on its schedule this week, they agreed to reschedule the game.
Etowah (0-8, 0-4) will travel to Forsyth Central (3-4, 1-4), still in search of its first win of the season.
“(Forsyth Central) had someone penciled in for this week, but they backed out and we were fully expecting to be on a bye week,” Etowah coach Matt Kemper said. “I struggled with the decision, but, ultimately, my thoughts went to our senior kids having the opportunity to play a full schedule. It’s a long trip, and a lot of logistics, but it’s another chance to compete.”
Etowah fell short in the “Battle of Towne Lake” last week, losing 24-14 to Woodstock. The Eagles were led again by senior running back Klivert Many, who remained in the top five among rushers in Cherokee County after finishing with a game-high 113 rushing yards and two scores.
Etowah’s defense allowed only 10 points last week and held Woodstock to 216 total yards. Linebackers Lane Cantrell and Austin Skinner led the way with a combined 12 tackles, while junior defensive lineman Jaden Maddox finished with three tackles and two tackles for loss.
Senior defensive lineman Jared Weitkamp, who played every snap of the game after also serving as an offensive tackle, finished with four tackles.
Forsyth Central is coming off a 43-42 loss at Lambert that saw the Bulldogs get outscored 22-7 in the fourth quarter. Even in defeat, they tallied 384 rushing yards (7.8 yards per carry) and five rushing touchdowns.
Five players scored touchdowns for Forsyth Central, but the veer-option offense is led by quarterback Bronson Landreth, who leads the team with 714 total yards (472 passing, 242 rushing). Peyton Streko leads the team with 304 rushing yards and four scores, while Noah Chol leads the team in all-purpose yards (103.7 per game) and touchdowns (6).
The Bulldogs will lean on their offensive line. East Carolina commit Canaan Clark will play both the offensive and defensive line, while center Robby Watson will lead the offensive line.
The logistics of preparing to play a game on short notice will be a factor for both teams. With both sides already eliminated from playoff contention, playing for pride will likely be a key motivational tool.
“When you take those pads off for that last time, it’s brutal,” Kemper said. “That’s ultimately what determined the decision to play, and that’s what we’ve been preaching this week to our team.”