Prep Football: East Coweta begins region play perfectly

Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
ATLANTA — East Coweta found its stride in the second half on both sides of the ball to start of the Region 3-AAAAAA schedule with a 24-7 win at Westlake on Friday.
After dropping four straight non-region games, the Indians came off a bye week with a much-needed victory over a Lions team that ruined Homecoming at East Coweta last year.
Now the Indians (2-4, 1-0) head into next week’s festivities against Tri-Cities with added momentum after outscoring host Westlake 21-0 in the final two quarters of play.
“We needed both (a region win or any victory),” East Coweta head coach Clint Wade said. “We’ve had some hard times. Getting that first region game is key. Our kids came through. We made some adjustments at halftime and they came out and executed.”
Westlake quarterback Renard Battle — who led last year’s victory over the Indians — supplied much of the Lions offense on a 69-yard run that set up a second-quarter pass to Jamauri Elliott. That gave the hosts a 7-3 lead to counter a 40-yard field goal by Spencer Smith.
A turnover inside the Lions 20 and dropped passes kept the Indians to just a field goal in the first two quarters.
The second half proved better, due to a better mindset, Indians' QB Bryce Gemmel said.

“In the first half we were flat,” Gemmel said. “We were flat during warmups. After halftime, we came out with more intensity.”

The East Coweta defense sacked Westlake quarterback Renard Battle twice on the first drive of the third, and a short punt gave the offense a short field at the 30. Gemmel directed the Indians inside the 10 and hit Alex Portress for a 9-yard scoring pass.

On the next Lions possession, linebacker Jay McKnight, who had been in on the two sacks during the squad’s previous series, picked off Battle’s pass attempt at the Westlake 29.

“We had an inspirational talk at the half,” McKnight said. “Coach told us our season was going to change if we didn’t come out and play like we can.”

McKnight, who broke his hand earlier in the season at Sandy Creek but never missed a game, said getting that interception was big for him and the team.

“I’ve had interceptions before, but not one that meant as much as that one did,” he added.

Regaining the ball after the pick, Gemmel hit Markell Boston in the end zone on the next play for another touchdown to go up, 17-7. The Lions never recovered.

Demarcus Godfrey supplied the running game that kept the first down markers moving and the explosive Westlake offense off the field. He finished with 149 yards on 19 carries and an 8-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Godfrey said the players up front led the way for the rushing yards.

“Our line showed what we came to do,” Godfrey said. “We came together like a family and came together as one.”

And he said that will be needed more as they continue the region schedule.

“It was very important (to get a region win),” Godfrey said. “Coach Wade always tells us stay the course. That’s what we’re going to have to do.”

SCORING SUMMARY – East Coweta 24, Westlake 7

East Coweta      0   3   14   7 — 24

Westlake      0   7   0   0 — 7

2nd quarter

EC — Spencer Smith 40 FG

W — Jamauri Elliott 3 pass from Renard Battle (Caleb Green kick) 

3rd quarter

EC — Alex Portress 9 pass from Bryce Gemmel (Smith kick)

EC — Markell Boston 29 pass from Gemmel (Smith kick)

4th quarter

EC— Demarcus Godfrey 8 run (Smith kick)

More Sports

Region 3-AAAAAA Softball

Lynch leads Lady Indians to finals with no-hitter

East Coweta softball coach Franklin DeLoach knows having three pitchers on his roster is a luxury that most opponents struggle to match. And ... Read More

High School Football

Indians move on to next challenge after big win over Westlake

There's no doubt that East Coweta's thrilling 7-0 football victory over Westlake last Friday at Garland Shoemake Stadium had a championship- ... Read More

High School Volleyball

Newnan, host East Coweta enter Area 3-AAAAAA tourney as teams to beat

When Newnan's volleyball program had to make a coaching hire late this summer, one wondered how the Lady Cougars would respond. But it didn' ... Read More

Middle School Football

East Coweta, Madras earn byes heading into playoffs

The postseason has arrived for the Coweta County Middle School Athletic League football season, and East Coweta and Madras have each earned ... Read More

GHSA Softball

State-bound, E. Coweta, Newnan battle for seeding

With only four teams participating in the Region 3-AAAAAA double-elimination softball tournament this week, both top-seed East Coweta and No ... Read More

High School Softball

Heritage advances to 2nd round for first time in school history

Heritage School’s softball team advanced to the second round of the GISA state tournament for the first time Thursday by sweeping Terr ... Read More