With the game picked as a TV game by WSB, the teams are playing a day earlier than usual. The game will be broadcast live on Comcast cable channel 248, with a tape-delay broadcast at 1 a.m. Saturday on WSB’s primary channel.
With both teams 2-0 in the region, the winner of tonight’s clash will go a long way in guaranteeing itself a spot in the postseason.
But to Etowah coach Dave Svehla, the effect that tonight’s game will have on the Eagles’ playoff hopes is the last thing on his mind.
“This is a big game, but it’s important because it’s the next one, and because were playing a good team,” Svehla said. “We can’t spend a lot of time worrying about the implications of the game. We just need to worry about preparing for it.”
Despite Etowah’s success in region play, Svehla hasn’t been satisfied with the Eagles’ performance this season, and he feels that, for Etowah (3-2) to begin to win consistently, it can’t afford to look past tonight’s game.
“We never talk about what’s ahead. All it can do is serve as a distraction, and we can’t afford it,” Svehla said. “We are not nearly good enough to think about what happens if we win, so we don’t have a choice but to focus on Milton and our preparation during the week.”
Svehla is wary of Milton’s high-powered offense, which averages 35 points a game, with the majority of their yards coming on the ground.
“They have a couple of awfully good running backs,” Svehla said. “I believe they had two players rush for over 100 yards last week, so were expecting to see an explosive running game.”
Svehla insisted, however, that he was much more concerned with what his team would bring to the game than what Milton (4-1) would.
“You can only prepare so much for who you are playing,” he said. “Of course, we’ve focused on Milton this week in practice, but mostly we spend time on ourselves. At the end of the day, you have to execute your own game plan and not shoot yourself in the foot. Milton does that well, and that’s why they are 4-1.”
Last week, in Etowah’s 26-14 victory at region opponent Roswell, the Eagles played their first game of the season with their preferred starting offensive line.
After struggling early in the year, Svehla feels the offensive line’s steady improvement will have to continue for Etowah to keep winning.
“We’re getting better up front,” he said. “We still made some crucial mistakes last week, but we’re looking to keep improving. (Milton has) some really good players up front defensively, so I feel that the battle up front will be key.”