On Friday night against the No. 7-ranked Milton Eagles, the visiting Etowah Eagles were without four starters, including their quarterback, running back and top receiver/defensive back. But it didn’t matter, because they still had running back Raishod Devezin.
Devezin, filling in for Brandon Engle, rushed for 329 yards and two touchdowns as Etowah edged Milton, 24-15, in a key Region 5-AAAAAA matchup.
Etowah is now 6-0 and 3-0 in region play, while Milton (5-1, 2-1) takes its first loss of the year.
“My line blocked their (butts) off and I appreciated that,” said Devezin, who ran for a 72-yard touchdown and had runs of 64 and 65 yards. “We just went out there and finished the game. We were relentless.”
Etowah was without three of its starters for violation of team rules. Receiver/defensive back Ben Rowell was out with an arm injury.
Milton was without its top running back, Tennessee recruit Treyvon Paulk, who may miss the season with an injured knee.
Trailing 14-7, Milton made its run at the start of the second half. Milton was forced to punt on its opening possession, but Matt Moskowitz’s 79-yard punt set up a Milton safety the next play. After the free kick, Milton took a 15-14 lead when Austin McLeod hit Jonathan Cistrunk for a 29-yard touchdown.
But later in the third – after another Moskowitz punt placed the ball on Etowah’s 3 – Devezin’s 65-yard run reversed the field and set up Edwin Alfaro’s 21-yard field goal to give Etowah the lead. Etowah’s next possession ended with a 9-yard run from Stanlee Logue, which brought the game to its final score. Devezin rushed three times for 95 yards on the drive.
On Milton’s next possession, Bronson Rechsteiner iced the game with his second interception, this one coming with 4:05 left.
Etowah’s defense also stepped up against the run, limiting Milton to just 93 rushing yards on 27 carries.
“I’m so proud of our kids,” Etowah coach Dave Svehla said. “We found out what kind of team we had tonight. We pressed and pressed and pressed and our defense played great.”
Milton and Etowah both have next week off. On Oct. 18, Milton travels to Lassiter and Etowah travels to Cherokee.
Etowah 7 7 0 10 – 24
Milton 0 7 8 0 – 15
E – Raishod Devezin 5 run (Edwin Alfaro kick)
M- Chad Toliver 4 run (Jordan Genovese kick)
E – Devezin 72 run (Alfaro kick)
M – Team safety
M – Jonathan Cistrunk 29 pass from Austin McLeod (conversion failed)
E – Alfaro 21 FG
E – Stanlee Logue 9 run (Alfaro kick)
Follow Adam Krohn on Twitter @AdamKrohnAJC.