Prep Football: Archer next target for East Coweta
BY DOUG GORMAN
When East Coweta head coach Clint Wade entered last Friday’s game against Henry County, the veteran coach wasn’t too sure what to expect from his team.
The loss of 32 seniors from last year’s squad left plenty of holes to fill, and just as many questions to answer heading into the opener.
Godfrey, who has been the Indians’ leading rusher the last two seasons, appeared to have picked up right where he left off, scoring on touchdown runs of 36, 35 and nine yards en route to the Indians’ easy 35-7 victory against Henry County to open the 2012 season.
Godfrey put up his big numbers, carrying the football nine times for 110 yards on his way to three trips to the end zone.
“We know we are going to have to really count on him heavily. He just has so much energy,” Wade said. “He really knows how to play this game.”
It was also a breakout day for the new starting quarterback Bryce Gemmel.
The Indians’ junior quarterback, who played mainly on defense last year, scored the first touchdown of the day for either team when he called his own number and scampered into the end zone on a 14-yard run late in the first quarter.
Gemmel showed his ability to keep the football himself as he turned it up field for 43 yards on seven carries in the win.
“He did a really good job of running the offense, but the big thing is he didn’t turn over the football,” Wade said.
Wade was pleased with the way his team operated in all aspects of the offense.
“I am really proud of the way we executed our game plan,” Wade said. “We still have a long way to go, but we are getting better.”
East Coweta could have added even more points to its side of the scoreboard, but missed on two field goals.
The Indians’ defense rose to the occasion throughout the night, nearly pitching a shutout against the Warhawks until Derrick Powell ran 68 yards for Henry County’s only score of the game late in the second half.
East Coweta can expect a tough test Friday night as Archer (1-0) comes to town for the second game of the season for both teams.
Although Archer has only been playing football for four years, its has overcome some growing pains and playing in Region 8-AAAAA that includes traditional powers Brookwood and Parkview gives the Tigers some instant clout.
Head coach Andy Dyer, a former Indians assistant, led Archer to a playoff berth last season after finishing 5-5 in 8-AAAAA.
The Tigers’ offensive prowess comes from its backfield.
A week ago in a 46-7 rout of the Mountain View Bears, two running backs each rushed for over 100 yards as senior Ernest Alexander (5-8, 210) finished with 120 yards and four touchdowns and Sean Fowler (5-11, 190) had 110 yards and one touchdown.
Archer also likes to throw the football to its running backs. In last week’s victory, K.J. Parmer made his first varsity start for the Tigers at quarterback throwing for 86 yards and hitting Alexander on a 30-yard screen pass for a touchdown.
“They are a power team like Brookwood,” Wade said.”They like to run the football, but they can also throw around too, so they can be dangerous.”
Defensively, 6-4, 260-pound lineman Antonio Riles is one of the state’s top senior prospects, having verbally committed to Florida.
Like Gemmel, Parmer has the ability to run the football. Against Mt. View, Parmer picked up 37 yards on eight carries.
The Archer defense forced nine Mountain view fumbles last week, and even though they only recovered the football one time, they changed the Bears’ field position throughout the night.
East Coweta comes into the game at near full strength with junior running back Weylin Orr hopeful to return to the lineup after missing last week’s opener..
“We had some bumps and bruises last Friday, but we are pretty healthy,” Wade said.
This will be the second of five non-region games in a row for the Indians.
Next week East Coweta plays at Sandy Creek. The following week the Indians entertain Lovejoy.
Last season, Lovejoy won their first 14 games before losing to Tucker in the Class AAAA Finals in the Georgia Dome.
East Coweta closes out its non-region portion of the schedule with one of its longest road trips in recent memory when it crosses the state line to play Central High School in Phenix City, Ala.
All four of the remaining non-region teams made the playoffs last year.