The Wolverines received a punt with less than 2 minutes in the game and had a shot to tie the game, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
“We fought hard and found ways to make some stops,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “We had the ball at the end with a chance to score, but you have to tip your hat to Etowah for good defense in the end. We wanted to get one more play at the end, and we didn’t get that, and that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
After Woodstock (2-6, 1-4 Region 5AAAAAA) picked up a pair of first downs and moved the ball to the Etowah 49, the Eagles’ defense put the brakes on the Wolverines’ offense.
Woodstock’s Garrett Atkinson was held to just a 4- yard gain on a reception, while another pass by Justin Agner fell incomplete. The quarterback was then dropped for no gain on third down before the Wolverines elected to go for it on fourth-and-10 from the 49. On the final play, Agner was tripped up trying to squeeze through a hole in the line.
Etowah (7-1, 4-1) took over on downs and ended the game in victory formation as a rowdy student section at Eagle Stadium prepared to rush the field.
Etowah coach Dave Svehla said it would be hard to top the emotion that the cheering students brought to the game, and the energy the players had on the field.
“I can’t imagine being anywhere in America that would be more exciting and more intense than what we had here (Friday night),” Svehla said.
Etowah regained control of the Towne Lake series after losing at Woodstock in 2012. The Eagles also resumed their attempt at a region championship, maintaining a tie with Lassiter, which they play in two weeks. Next week, however, Etowah must contend with Walton.
Woodstock struck first Friday, using a 56-yard pass from Agner to Reagan Amos less than 2 minutes into the game.
But Etowah answered with a long pass play of its own as John Oliver connected with Cory Burdett
for a 37-yard strike, which tied the score at 7-all.
Before the end of the first quarter, Woodstock settled for a 29-yard field goal by Javier Zavala after
Ethan Wheeler recovered an Etowah fumble on the Eagles’ 22.
Etowah, however, ended the first quarter with the lead after Oliver shuffled a pass to Ty Burton, who ran 49 yards for the touchdown.
In the second quarter, Woodstock had two opportunities to cut into the Eagles’ 14-10 lead. The
Wolverines failed to convert on their first field goal attempt as the ball struck the cross bar. The second drive ended with a 25-yard field goal by Zavala as time expired — despite Etowah’s
attempt to ice the kicker.
Etowah went up 21-13 on its first drive of the second half as Raishod Devezin toted the ball in from 10 yards out, but the lead didn’t hold for long.
Less than 3 minutes later, Woodstock was in the end zone with a 3-yard run by Donovan Brand.
Agner successfully ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion, which tied the game at 21-all.
The Eagles broke the tie before the end of the quarter, with Oliver once more putting the ball in the air.
The quarterback, who finished with 139 passing yards and three touchdowns, connected with Keith Gordon for the 7- yard completion.
After Woodstock was forced to punt, Etowah began a drive on its own 15. The Eagles used less
than 2 minutes to move the ball 85 yards, as Oliver did most of the work. After being stopped for a loss of a yard, Oliver called his own name again, this time running 44 yards and virtually untouched to make the score 35-21.
The teams traded punts before Woodstock cut into the lead after profiting from an interception. Oliver’s pass, intercepted by Woodstock’s Jelani Regan, set up a 33-yard drive, which was capped by a 12-yard pass from Agner to Atkinson with 6:04 left.
Agner, who was playing the game through an injury and took several big hits during the game, was 16-for-38 passing for 269 yards and two touchdowns.
Atkinson made five catches for 79 yards, while Josh Loud caught seven passes for 76 yards. Also key were Amos and Nick Cable.
Deonte Robins, who had just four carries, led Woodstock with 49 rushing yards, due largely to a 40-
Oliver led Etowah with 99 yards on 14 carries. Keith Gordon had six carries for 83 yards, including a 41-yard dash in the second half.