ROSWELL -- After a relatively slow first half, Roswell put its foot on the pedal against Etowah, scoring 34 second-half points to win 48-14 and wrap up the Region 4AAAAAAA championship Friday.
However, to Etowah coach Dave Svehla, the final score did not represent the play on the field.
“I thought we played pretty good defense most of the game, he said. "It was not a 48-14 game for anybody who watched it, but credit Roswell. They made plays at the end in the second half, and we weren’t as good in the second half."
Roswell (7-2, 4-1) was paced by star tight end John Copenhaver, who dominated the Etowah defense. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound North Carolina commit tallied 140 yards of total offense and showed his big-play ability with a 36-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter and a 75-yard catch that gave the Hornets a 20-point lead late in the third quarter.
“He’s so versatile," Roswell coach Matt Kemper said. "He can run the football, he can line up out at receiver, he can block as a tight end. That’s why the kid’s going to be a Division I player."
Early on, Etowah (5-5, 3-2) found success in the passing game, with Dalton Miller throwing two touchdowns to tight end Jackson Manns.
However, as the Eagles fell behind, passes became more forced and three late interceptions -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- helped put the nail in Etowah’s coffin.
Despite the lackluster play in the second half, Svehla was not too worried about the future of his team.
“As crazy as it sounds, I really didn’t think we played too bad,” he said. “The score got away from us because you have to try to win, and if you don’t try to win, then you shouldn’t be coaching. By trying to win, we went for it on fourth down, we threw some interceptions that got returned for touchdowns — that’s just part of it.
While Roswell will look to continue its success by hosting Wheeler next week in the first round of the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs, Etowah will look to rebound at East Coweta.
“Our kids will go back and watch the film, and they’ll know that we didn’t play too bad,” Svehla said. “You can’t worry about this game. You can’t let Roswell beat you twice. We’re going to East Coweta next week, and we’ll be prepared to play and excited to play, and we’re looking forward to it.”