The Moody Blue Devils fought to the very end, but second ranked Etowah County made the plays they needed to hold off Moody 19 – 0 at James Clover Stadium in Etowah.
To learn how to win and become one of the top teams, you have to play those top teams. Last Friday night Moody did just that going on the road to play a second ranked team full of division one prospects. Moody did not make the night easy for the Blue Devils of Etowah.
Joel McCormick got the first tackle of the season for Moody with a big hit on the opening kickoff. Etowah started their first drive of the night at their own 27-yard line. Mason Shockley introduced himself to the Blue Devil offense by making three straight tackles for Moody. The Moody defense bowed up and caused a fumble that was recovered by E.J. Bell. The Moody Blue Devils took over at their own 34.
Moody’s first offensive play of the season was a Karson Buckner to Jayiveon Carol completion for three yards. Two plays later, after a loss of yards on the prior play, Buckner found Rashad Clark for a big 9-yard gain, but Moody was short of first down yardage and had to punt. Both teams traded possessions the rest of the first and neither team scored. The game was scoreless after the first quarter.
Moody kept the Blue Devils of Etowah on their toes on offense and defense in the second quarter. Buckner completed big pass plays to Rashad Clark, Cyric Williams, to keep drives alive. Christian Archer, Joel McCormick and Alijah Daniel made huge tackles for losses throughout the quarter to kill Etowah Drives. The second ranked team in 5A finally broke through on special teams with a 45 yard punt return for a touchdown. The extra point failed, but Etowah took the first lead of the game 6 - 0 with 3:31 left in the half.
The Blue Devils of Etowah stopped the Moody offense in three plays and got the ball back at their own 31-yard line with 1:57 left in the half. Etowah put in their bigger and faster quarterback and he was a load to deal with. His first carry was a huge run play that took Etowah into Moody territory at the Moody 21-yard line. Facing 2nd and goal at the Moody eight yard line, the Blue Devils completed a pass in the endzone for a score with .6 seconds left in the half. The two point try failed and Moody trailed 12 – 0 at half time.
The third quarter consisted mainly of one very long time consuming drive by Etowah. After stopping the Moody Blue Devils first drive of the second half in three plays, Etowah took over at their own 39-yard line. The Blue Devils put together a 13 play 61-yard drive that resulted in a 14-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good and Etowah stretched its lead out to 19 – 0.
That was the score going into the fourth quarter. Moody got a huge opportunity to get back into the game with the defense causing a fumble and Aiden Calvert recovered the ball for the Blue Devils and the Etowah 5-yard line. The Blue Devils fell short of the end zone on four tries. Moody also fell short on the scoreboard 19 – 0.
Moody will quickly have to put last weeks game behind them and get ready for a huge region opener at home verses rival St. Clair County. These two rivals have been in the same region for the third year in a row. After winning six straight in the series, St Clair started a two game winning streak with a hard fought 39 – 35 win at St Clair in 2016 and a 20 – 0 shutout at Moody last season. It will be a war as both teams are coming off losses.
St. Clair will be the first of a two game home stand for the Blue Devils. Moody will host Sylacauga next week before hitting the road for two week, at Central Clay County and at Shelby County.
Kickoff for tomorrow rivalry game with the Saints is 7 p.m. at Bill Morris Stadium.