E.A. Sports Today

Cubs come up short

Rough second quarter dooms Alexandria in region title game, Cubs still get a home playoff game
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
ATTALLA – Alexandria coach Todd Ginn couldn’t really be mad at his team after it came up short on the scoreboard.
There wasn’t anybody outside of the Alexandria football circle who would’ve thought the Valley Cubs would be in this position, but there they were, third week in October, playing for a region championship.
That part of the story didn’t make as Etowah pinned a 34-10 loss on them at Jim Glover Stadium to win their own region title for the third year in a row.
It was the Valley Cubs’ first loss of the season after a surprising 6-0 start.
“I still think we were ahead of schedule, but dad gummit, when you get here you want to win the thing,” Ginn said. “We go back and look at the film and see what happened, but they just have a bunch of athletes who played really well.
“They deserved to win this thing. We’ll get better. We’ll see what happens on down the road. I told somebody today our young guys will get better regardless and I thought we fought to ‘til the end, so we’ll be OK.”
The game couldn’t have started better for the Valley Cubs. They faced down a first-and-goal situation from the 5 on the opening drive and came away clean as Etowah kicker Eric Edge missed a 24-yard field goal. The big play in the stand was throwing Martavious Davis for a 10-yard loss on the second play, then holding him out of the end after catching a Brady Troup pass.
The Cubs (6-1, 4-1) took over and used the rest of the first quarter clock and some of the second to drive the length of the field and get the first score on Wesley Wright’s 1-yard sneak.
But then the game turned. Etowah scored three touchdowns in a span of 4 minutes, 36 seconds and everything changed. Troup and Ethan Foster hooked up on a 67-yard touchdown pass that looked like it was going to get between everybody. Etowah’s Jeremy Williams blocked a punt on Alexandria’s ensuing possession and on the next play Troup threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to William Cox for the lead. Two minutes later Trent Davis broke off a 62-yard touchdown run.
That cushion allowed the Blue Devils (8-1, 5-0) to bring the house defensively and pressure the young Valley Cubs even more.
“The first quarter went exactly like we wanted it,” Ginn said. “And the second quarter was going our way. We threw a fade, we thought we had them, and we probably should’ve kept running it because they were having trouble stopping us at the beginning. I thought we lost our composure there in the second quarter when we got behind … and we never really could get much going offensively.
“I wouldn’t mind playing them again. We’re young, we’ll learn. They hadn’t changed defense all year and they changed their defense, which tells you we’re a pretty good team. When they load up and do what they did and have to do what they did the athletes they have we’re going to be OK.”
It didn’t help that one of their big weapons, Nate McCallum, was playing on a sore ankle. Eighth-grader Ronnie Royal was picking up as much slack as he could. He wound up rushing for 100 yards on 17 carries.
The Valley Cubs knocked Troup out of the game with a hard hit five minutes into the third quarter. The Blue Devils inserted freshman John Holladay in his place and didn’t miss a beat. Holladay completed his first pass off the bench for a 12-yard gain and directed them to two third-quarter touchdowns to extend the lead.
“John Wallace came in and handled it pretty good for a freshman,” Blue Devils coach John Holladay said.
The Valley Cubs did put together their best drive since their first one on their last possession. They drove 69 yards to the 10 and Grayson Forrest kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:00 to play.
While they may not have won the region championship, they do have a nice consolation prize awaiting them. They’ll get to host a first-round playoff game. It’ll be the first time they’ve hosted a playoff game since 2015.

Alex (10)Eto (34)
191st D12

Alexandria      0  7    0   3  –  10
Etowah            0  20  14  0  –  34
Scoring plays
A – Wesley Wright 1 run (Grayson Forrest kick), 9:50 2Q
E – Ethan Foster 67 pass from Brady Troup (kick failed), 7:20 2Q
E – William Cox 18 pass from Brady Troup (kick failed), 4:54 2Q
E – Trent Davis 62 run (Trent Davis run), 2:44 2Q
E – Martavious Davis 33 run (Eric Edge kick), 6:07 3Q
E – Trent Davis 11 run (Eric Edge kick), 1:27 3Q
A – Grayson Forrest 27 FG, 1:08 4Q

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