Opening rout of Henry County quite the experience for East Coweta
By CHRIS GIROUARD
For the Newnan Times-Herald
As far as openers go, it doesn’t get much better than it did last night for the East Coweta football team.
So much for a tag of “inexperience” in the preseason.
Add it all up and the Indians put together a 35-7 thrashing of the Henry County Warhawks in Friday’s 2012 season opener for both schools at Garland Shoemake Stadium.
“We needed this,” East Coweta head coach Clint Wade said. “This is going to give us the opportunity to assess where we got to and where we are headed.”
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If Friday’s debut is any indication, the Indians’ young lineup is ready to grow up in a hurry this fall.
Defensively, the Indians gave up one first down on Henry County’s opening drive of the game. They didn’t allow another until the 7-minute mark of the third quarter and only three for the entire game.
When the Indians did give up a big play, like a 50-yard completion from Warhawks’ quarterback Tony Freeman II to Dieonte Bryant, they managed to force a turnover.
Cornerback Nigel Gay had East Coweta’s other takeaway when he picked off a pass from Freeman and returned it all the way to the Henry County 4. This set up East Coweta’s final touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run by quarterback Bryce Gemmel.
“Overall, our defense was great,” Wade said. “We got 11 helmets in there. We didn’t wrap up when their kid got the touchdown. We’ve got some younger kids in there and they didn’t wrap up and their kid got away.”
The touchdown Wade referred to was a 68-yard scamper by Derrick Powell late in the third quarter that went for the only Warhawks’ score of the contest. Powell broke several tackles and eventually pulled away from the Indians’ defense along the far sideline. However, it was too little, too late as the Indians’ offense had scored early and often by then.
“We ran the offense better than we had been,” Wade said. “It’s something we will have to keep working on daily though.”
East Coweta was unable to get anything going on its first drive. However, the second drive of the game for the Indians resulted in a 7-0 lead. Gemmel connected with tight end Clifton Strong for a 15-yard gain on the first play.
Two plays later, Gemmel hooked up with Gay on a 13-yard play. Demarcus Godfrey (9 carries for 110 yards and 3 TDs) got his first big carry of the night, a 17-yarder to bring the ball to the Henry County 14. Gemmel (7 carries, 43 yards, 1 TD) took it in from there on a keeper.
Shortly after East Coweta’s second score, a 36-yard run by Godfrey, the Indians’ Nation received a scare. On a 2nd-and-4 run up the middle, Gemmel took a hard hit, fumbled, and left the game with what appeared to be an injury. The Indians had recovered the fumble, and two plays later Godfrey broke the second of his three touchdown runs, this one for 35 yards. On the next drive, Gemmel returned to the game.
“He’s ok,” Wade said. “He had some complications, but got treatment and got back in there.”
A 9-yard run by Godfrey accounted for the only other score for the Indians.
“Our offense, defense and special teams, I would give a passing grade tonight,” Wade said. “I was a little disappointed in our kicking game. Spencer Smith did a great job kicking off and punting, but he missed two field goals (35 and 33 yards). But overall, everything went real well.”
East Coweta now prepares for its next opponent, Archer, also at home.
“That’s going to be a heck of a challenge for us,” Wade said.
Henry County 0 0 7 0 – 7
East Coweta 7 14 14 0 – 35
EC – Bryce Gemmel 14 yard run (Spencer Smith kick) 2:43
EC – Demarcus Godfrey 36 yard run (Smith kick) 8:32
EC – Godfrey 35 yard run (Smith kick) 3:46
EC – Godfrey 9 yard run (Smith kick) 7:28
EC – Gemmel 1 yard run (Smith kick) 4:45
HC – Derrick Powell 68 yard run (Tony Freeman kick) 1:21