Etowah saw a win slip away in the final minutes last week, but the Eagles still feature one of the county’s most efficient offenses heading into Week 4.
Etowah (1-2) rallied from down 13-0 to take the lead last week against South Forsyth last week, but the War Eagles took advantage of Etowah turnovers to rally for the win.
Despite the three turnovers, Etowah coach Dave Svehla said he was pleased with the overall direction of the team heading into Friday's home game against Pebblebrook (1-1).
“I think we played much better football than we did previously against North Cobb,” Svehla said. “We ran the ball better Friday night and we had a good balance, which will be important later in the season when we get into region play. The execution was better overall.”
Etowah saw the return of Nick Maddox as the team’s primary running back, as the senior finished with 134 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Etowah has featured three different starting running backs -- Maddox, Remmington Adams and Kilvert Many -- in its first three games and all three sit in the top eight of leading rushers in Cherokee County.
When asked which back will lead the group moving forward, Svehla implied that the decision is not set in stone.
“We’ll see what they earn in practice,” Svehla siad. “I’m OK with playing any of the three.”
Dalton Miller has been the most efficient quarterback in Cherokee County, passing for 709 yards and five touchdowns on 72% passing (53-for-74), while Jackson Manns leads the county's receivers with 287 yards on 19 receptions.
The Etowah offense seems to have all the pieces needed to win, but cutting down on self-inflicted mistakes continues to be a focus in practice. Etowah’s defense forced three turnovers of its own last week, but Svehla said there was room for improvement on that side of the ball as well.
“Ball security has been a big focus this week because the turnovers were the difference in the game against South Forsyth,” Svehla said. “Pebblebrook is going to commit to stop the run against us and, offensively, I think they’re going to try to get the ball on the edge. We were down 13 points last week before we could even blink, but after that, we forced a couple turnovers and buckled down. We’ve still got to be better on third down and forcing teams to punt.”
One of the youngest players on the Etowah roster has been one of the more impressive. Freshman kicker Carson Allen has been perfect so far this season, going 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts and 8-for-8 on extra-point attempts. Allen leads the county in points by a kicker with 17 and has not seemed to show any nerves in his first few games of varsity action.
“We’ve had a couple kids who can really kick during my time here,” Svehla said. “I’ve just been impressed with (Allen) because it’s pretty nerve-wracking to walk into a varsity game and kick when you’re 14 years old. I’ve been really impressed with how he’s handled it and, hopefully, he’ll continue to do that for us.”