PREP FOOTBALL: Cullman scores big over Etowah 35-8


ATTALLA — Owen Lovell caught three touchdown passes from Ross Crocker as Cullman defeated the Etowah Blue Devils 35-8 Friday night.


Lovell had touchdown catches of 6, 8 and 59 yards, the longest coming late in the fourth quarter as sophomore quarterback and sophomore receiver finally connected on a deep throw after numerous attempts throughout the game.


Cullman (1-1) took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Crocker found Lovell in the back of the end zone for a six-yard touchdown to end the game's opening drive. Following a stop by Cullman's defense, Will Crenshaw scored in a one-yard run with 5:27 left in the opening quarter.


Etowah (0-2) showed signs of life with a touchdown drive and two-point conversion to start the third quarter, cutting Cullman's lead to 14-8, but the Bearcats responded with a strong drive that started when Crocker hit Lovell for a 31-yard completion to the Etowah 27-yard-line. Three tough runs by Crenshaw moved the ball inside the 10 before Crocker found Lovell wide open in the back of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown pass.


Cullman put the game out of reach on the next possession when senior defensive back Brontae Harris intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards inside the Etowah 30-yard-line. The Bearcats drove inside the five before Justin Patterson took a handoff at the two-yard line and muscled his way into the end zone, increasing the lead to 28-8 with 3:59 left in the third quarter.


The Bearcats have a week off before hosting Florence on Sept. 11 at Oliver Woodard Stadium in a game that will be televised across the state.