All indications point toward another close game when Etowah travels to North Cobb on Friday night, with both teams coming off dominant wins, and last year’s game being decided by two points.
Etowah (1-0) wore down River Ridge in the second half last week and seemed to find its offensive rhythm in the process. Senior quarterback Dalton Miller looked poised, finishing the game 15-for-22 for 159 passing yards and two touchdowns while adding 21 rushing yards and another score. Jackson Manns led the Eagles with five catches for 66 yards.
Miller was able to spread the ball around to six different receivers, but it was the explosive play-making ability of sophomore running back Remngton Adams which seemed to propel Etowah the most. Adams scored a 66-yard rushing touchdown on his first touch of the game and added another on an 89-yard kickoff return to open the second half.
Etowah, however, was penalized 10 times for 96 yards, and coach Dave Svehla said the Eagles will look to improve upon that playing against an athletic North Cobb team.
“We had some penalties that were definitely preventable,” Svehla said. “I think Woodstock did some good things against North Cobb last week, but I really like what I saw from North Cobb’s back end and linebackers. They’re very athletic.”
North Cobb (1-0) jumped out to a fast start against Woodstock, en route to a 34-7 win on the road.
The Warriors rushed for more than 300 yards, with junior running back Cam Cunningham leading the way with 148 yards on 14 carries. Quarterbacks Trevor Lovett and Malachi Singleton combined for another 139 yards.
The Etowah defense adjusted well against the River Ridge rushing attack after halftime last week, and it will need to start Friday's game in similar fashion.
Defensively, North Cobb held the Woodstock spread passing attack to under 100 yards on a less than 50% completion percentage. Kendall Drake’s 94-yard interception return for touchdown last week gave North Cobb the momentum heading into halftime, and the Warriors will again face a team with multiple pass-catching options.
North Cobb also dealt with a high number of penalties, and whichever team can avoid the self-inflicted wounds could hold the advantage in this early-season matchup.