One of the most contentious rivalries in Cherokee County will resume this week in Towne Lake.
Etowah (0-7, 0-3 Region 5AAAAAAA) will travel to Woodstock (2-5, 0-2) on Friday for the annual “Battle of Towne Lake,” and even with limited capacity, the 2020 version of the rivalry is likely to come down to the fourth quarter. Seven of the last eight meetings between the two neighbors have come down to one-possession margins.
Woodstock may be the more rested team after having two full weeks of preparation following last week’s bye. The Wolverines are coming off three straight losses, however, and have been outscored 121-33 during that stretch.
Sophomore quarterback Dan Comeau has the second-most completions in Cherokee County, despite having only played four games. The quick-pass offense will test the perimeter for the Etowah defense as Wes Bruno (40 receptions, 411 yards) and Sebastian Moss (30 receptions, 298 yards) are both in the top three in catches in the county. David Daniel is always the dynamic X-factor for Woodstock with 18 receptions for 175 yards and a team-high three receiving touchdowns this season.
“Obviously, you’ve got to limit David Daniel,” Etowah coach Matt Kemper said. “He’s explosive and can break one at any time. We have to make them snap the ball and drive the length of the field.”
Daniel, a Georgia commit as a defensive back, also leads Woodstock in tackles with 61, but the Wolverines have playmakers alongside him as well. Carson Gray leads the county in tackles for loss (13) and is second in sacks (7), while defensive lineman Brett Stefan and linebacker Ryan Comeau are in the top five in the county in tackles for loss.
Etowah fell 35-6 to Cherokee last week and will look to break through against its archrival for its first win of the season. This will be Kemper’s first experience coaching in this rivalry, and he said it didn’t take long to learn about what this game means to the community.
“Even back in March and April when we were trying to get to know the kids and talking with the senior leaders, they talked about Woodstock week and how much fun that was,” Kemper said. “There’s been a lot of talk from the kids and from the staff about how you can throw the records out the window with this one. I’ve been very fortunate to coach in these type of games before, and I’m excited to experience it.”
The Eagles had trouble moving the ball against Cherokee’s defense but showed flashes in both halves. Running back Klivert Many continues to serve as the main cog in the Eagles’ offense. Many finished with 60 yards on 25 carries last Friday and he enters this week fifth in Cherokee County in rushing yards with 541 on the season.
Linebacker Austin Skinner recorded a team-high nine tackles with three tackles for loss against Cherokee last week while fellow senior Lane Cantrell (69 total tackles) is fifth in Cherokee County in tackles on the season.