Etowah rushes past Patriots

— Etowah rushed for 331 total yards as it jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead en route to a 49-14 win over Berkmar, opening the season for both teams.

The Eagles (1-0) used the balanced rushing attack of David Guerrero and Brandon Engle, racking up 223 yards between them, as the Patriots had trouble stopping the run throughout the night.

On offense, penalties were the story early for Berkmar (0-1) as the ground game was able to get going, but was continuously pushed back due to holding penalties.

"We'll come in on Monday and correct the mistakes," said Berkmar head coach Jonathan Sanks. "We're a young team this year. We played five freshmen and seven sophomores in the game, so there is some inexperience there."

However, even with the Eagles firmly in control throughout the game, Sanks said he was proud of the way his team came out in the second half.

"They didn't quit and continued to fight," he said. "It's something we can build on."

The Patriots scored on their first possession of the second half, using 12 plays that covered 71 yards for the touchdown. Devin Johnson scored from one yard out on fourth down, after a 32-yard reception by Dorren Miller put the Patriots on the doorstep of the end zone.

However, Etowah came right back, scoring two straight touchdowns to put the game firmly out of reach from the Patriots.

In the fourth quarter, Berkmar was able to put together its second scoring drive starting from its own 30. Completions of 14 and 15 yards by quarterback Deion Perry set up a seven-yard scoring strike to Shakeem Powell. The Patriots then went for the two-point conversion, successfully nailing it on a rush by Rashaad Hall to make the score 42-14.

Etowah scored another touchdown with 4:53 to go in the game for the game's final score.

"The true test of this team's character is how they come to practice on Monday," Sanks said. "We're going to get better each week on offense, defense and special teams."

Perry finished the game 17 of 30 for 147 yards to go along with 50 yards rushing. Johnson was the leading receiver with seven catches for 60 yards.