After running up and down the field on offense for four games, Roswell’s rushing attack struggled to produce against Etowah, running for a season low 124 yards and falling 26-14 at Ray Manus Stadium.
Hornet running back Andrew Kwateng was held to a workman-like 94 yards on 21 carries but failed to find the big play magic he displayed early in the season.
“That was good old fashioned butt whoopin’, that’s what that was,” said Roswell head coach Justin Sanderson. “They won on both lines-of-scrimmage and played in our backfield all night long.
“We couldn’t get Andrew loose on the ground and just made way too many mistakes overall to win against a tough football team.”
The loss dropped Roswell (1-4, 0-2 in 5AAAAAA) into a tie for fifth place in region play and two games behind a quartet of teams at 2-0 — Etowah, Milton, Lassiter and Walton.
With the Hornet offense sputtering for much of the night, the Etowah offense was a model of efficiency, grinding out long drives on the ground and running out to a 23-0 lead through three quarters.
Starting from midfield on their second drive, John Oliver found Cody Burdett for a 19-yard gain and a first down at the 31-yard line.
Etowah’s running game took over from there, pounding eight straight running plays that ended with Stanlee Logue finding the end zone from five yards out on a counter play. Ryan Hopper’s extra point gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 9:11 to play in the second quarter.
Etowah safety Ben Rowell picked off a Ryan Monty pass two drives later and returned it 28 yards to set the Eagles up deep in Roswell territory again.
Oliver cashed the turnover in with a one-yard touchdown run to give Etowah a 14-0 lead with less than a minute to play in the half.
Roswell gift-wrapped two more points with 15 seconds to play, snapping the ball over the punters head and into the end zone for a safety.
“I think they punched us in the mouth a little bit and our guys were surprised at how strong and physical they were,” said Sanderson following the loss. “We’re going to have to find a way to bounce back though, we still have a lot to play for.”
Trailing 16-0 at half, Etowah extended their lead to 23-0 before Roswell finally cracked the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when quarterback Ryan Monty connected with John Albert for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
Etowah added a field goal to push the lead to 26-6 with two minutes to play before Monty found Albert again in the endzone with 12 seconds to play in the game. Bennett Barton caught a two-point conversion to bring the game to a 26-14 final.
Monty finished the game 12-of-19 passing for 118 yards and two touchdowns and added 26 yards on the ground. Albert caught four balls for 35 yards and Barton caught four of his own for 52 yards.
The Hornets will host Wheeler next Friday.
Etowah 26, Roswell 14
EHS 0 16 7 3 — 26
RHS 0 0 0 14 — 14
EHS: Stanlee Logue 5 run (Ryan Hopper kick)
EHS: John Oliver 1 run (Hopper kick)
EHS: Matt Bowling 29 run (Hopper kick)
RHS: John Albert 18 pass from Ryan Monty (kick blocked)
EHS: Hopper 36 field goal
RHS: Albert 4 pass from Monty (Monty pass to Bennett Barton)
14 First Downs 11
230 Rushing Yards 124
71 Passing Yards 118
301 Total Yards 243
4/10 Comp/Attempts 12/19
0 Interceptions 1
1/0 Fumbles/Lost 0/0
7/65 Penalties/Yards 6/65
3/39.0 Punts/Averages 3/37.5
RUSHING: Etowah — Brandon Engle 11-42, Oliver 11-19, Bowling 7-92, Raishad Devezin 8-55, Logue 3-15, Robbie Knox 2-7. Roswell — Andre Kwateng 21-94, Monty 5-26, Mechane Slade 3-14.
PASSING: Etowah — Oliver 4-9-0, 71, Devezin 0-1-0, 0. Roswell — Monty 12-19-1, 118.
RECEIVING: Etowah — Bryce Coroi 1-38, Bowling 1-3, Cody Burdett 1-19, Logue 1-11. Roswell — Barton 4-52, Albert 4-35, Colin McCauley 1-6, Hunter Coleman 1-10, Pat Sheehan 1-5, Bernie Arowoselu 1-10.