Prep Football: East Coweta struggles against Archer
By DREW BRANTLEY
Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
Just as the bright sunlight gave way to darker skies soon after the opening kickoff over Garland Shoemake Stadium at East Coweta, the home team’s chances to open the season 2-0 faded, as visiting Archer overcame an fairly even first half to claim a 27-6 non-region win Friday night.
A big roster helped lead to big plays for the visiting Tigers (2-0) who added three touchdowns to a 7-6 halftime lead while turnovers and the Archer defense held East Coweta (1-1) to a pair of field goals.
East Coweta took the opening kickoff and converted five first downs while moving the ball to the Tigers 10 before a fumble turned the ball over. Archer had a drive lead to a missed field goal late in the first quarter. The Indians threw an interception on its next possession, giving the ball to the Tigers at the Indians’ 38 yard-line.
Archer’s junior quarterback K.J. Parmer hit Deondre Singleton streaking down the middle of the field for a TD pass on its next play to open the scoring 2 seconds before the end of the first quarter.
The Indians responded with another drive inside the visitors’ 10 but settled for a 26-yard field goal from Spencer Smith.
Even after recovering a fumble on the next possession by Archer, East Coweta ran three plays and added a 25-yard kick by Smith for its final points of the game.
In the second half, the Tigers mounted two fruitless drives, while the Indians’ drives ended with another interception and a punt.
Archer’s Sean Fowler found room around the left side midway through the third for a 48-yard TD run to help push the lead to 14-6.
In desperate need of a turnover after its next drive stalled, East Coweta collected a fumble recovery at the Tigers 40, but followed with three plays and a punt.
Archer used timely passes to spark its running game and keep its drive moving, ending with another Fowler run from the 5 for a score. The Tigers added a touchdown run from Ernest Alexander midway through the fourth to end the scoring.
Held to limited gains in the first half, Archer’s pair of running backs both ended with more than 100 yards on the ground. Alexander had 22 carries from 102 yards, and Fowler had 11 rushes for 122 yards.
Dee Godfrey led the Indians with 56 yards rushing on 12 carries, but was held scoreless after a three-touchdown effort in East Coweta’s opening victory. He also had 90 yards off a pair of kickoff returns.
Parmer left the game in the first half after getting hit and fumbling, but Archer’s next quarterback was 5 of 10 for 84 passing yards to help key the second half offense.
Bryce Gemmel, who left the game with what Wade said looked to be a minor injury, finished 4-for-16 with two interceptions and 32 yards passing. He also had 13 carries for 36 yards rushing.
Aiming for another return to the postseason after losing a senior-laden team from a year ago, Wade said his team has time to finish the season better than Friday’s night’s loss.
“Our youth showed,” Wade said. “But tomorrow is another day. Some of the things we can fix and get on the right track. We’ll have plenty of opportunity to work hard. We’ve got a good group, and I’m proud of them. We’ll put this behind us and look forward.”
Archer 27, East Coweta 6
Archer 7 0 7 13 — 27
East Coweta 0 6 0 0 — 6
A — Deondre Singleton 38 pass from K.J. Parmer (Zach Wachholz kick) :02
EC — Spencer Smith 26-yard field goal, 7:14
EC — Spencer Smith 25-yard field goal, 4:31
A — Sean Fowler 48 run (Wachholz kick) 3:33
A —Fowler 5 run (kick failed) 8:11
A — Ernest Alexander 3 run (Wachholz kick) 4:38