Etowah’s season will come to an end this week against a first-time opponent.
Alpharetta (4-4, 2-2) will travel to Etowah (0-8, 0-4) on Friday. With the Eagles already eliminated from playoff contention, they will look to give the Raiders a loss and avoid their first winless season since 1985.
“Our guys have given us effort all year and, hopefully, we can continue that,” coach Matt Kemper said. “(Alpharetta has) guys going everywhere, and they’ll use a ton of formations to get you misaligned, so we’ve got to be ready for that.”
Etowah fell 21-7 at Forsyth Central last week but saw a promising performance from a standout freshman, as running back Elijah Washington finished with a game-high 125 yards.
Kemper said Washington has performed well since being called up from the junior varsity team earlier this season.
“He got some spot work here and there earlier this year, and he’d been playing well on JV,” Kemper said. “As the feature guy last Friday, he did a great job.”
Quarterback Will Curcio finished with 51 rushing yards on five carries and scored the first points of the game on a 41-yard run in the first quarter. The Eagles went into the second half tied 7-all, but 14 unanswered points by Forsyth Central put the game away in the third quarter.
Linebacker Lane Cantrell continued to lead the Eagles’ defense, finishing with seven tackles and team-high two tackles for loss, while Trevor Fair and Carlos Thornton Jr. each recorded interceptions.
Alpharetta is coming off a 35-21 win over Roswell. The backfield combination of Tylan Johnson and Jake Gil combined for 197 rushing yards and two touchdowns, with Johnson adding two receptions for 34 yards with a score. Quarterback Ben Gutherie finished 12-of-20 passing for 166 yards with two touchdowns, while adding 35 yards on the ground.
For Etowah, closing out the season on its home field may provide a bit of extra motivation. It has been hampered this fall by numerous quarantine issues, and securing a win on the final week of the season would be a welcomed sign for the players and fans.
“We’ve played hard all year and, right now, we’ve got to go out and finish,” Kemper said. “Anything can happen in high school football.”