In the Wolverines’ season opener against Johns Creek, he saw starting quarterback Justin Agner go down with an injury in the first quarter. Budde then switched over to versatile athlete Alex Motsinger, and Woodstock cruised to a 34-6 victory behind the second-stringer.
Against Lassiter, it was Motsinger — playing linebacker — who went down with an injury on the first series. Budde sent in a replacement and Woodstock held on for a 44-43 victory.
Tonight against Etowah, the coach will try to work his magic once more — but with both Agner and Motsinger injured.
Agner was injured during the fourth quarter of last week’s 22-19 loss to Roswell. Motsinger again came in at QB, and while he was unable to rally the team to a win, Budde decided that the senior would get the start tonight so Agner could rest up.
But all that changed Wednesday as the right-handed Motsinger arrived at practice with a cast on his throwing arm. While Motsinger’s return this season is possible, he’s certainly not starting at Etowah, so Woodstock (2-5, 1-3 Region 5AAAAAA) will look back to Agner, who has mostly recovered, to take the snaps.
“We didn’t know what (Agner’s) status was, and we thought Alex Motsinger was going to be our quarterback for this week, but it turns out he has a fractured thumb,” Budde said. “He actually took some quarterback snaps on Monday and Tuesday and came to practice Wednesday in a cast, so we will miss him.”
In the event Agner isn’t ready to go, sophomore Dylan Hudson, the starter on Woodstock’s junior varsity team, will step in.
“He knows how to run the offense and competes real well at the JV level,” Budde said. “He has had some pretty big games this year, so we have confidence that he can step in and lead the offense for us.”
Still, it isn’t the offense that concerns Budde. It’s how his defense will handle Etowah’s rushing attack.
While Brandon Engle is no longer with the team, Raishod Devezin has proved to be a more than suitable replacement and complement to quarterback John Oliver. In two starts, Devezin has accumulated nearly 500 yards on the ground.
“They have the ability to power-run the football, and we don’t see that a lot in our region anymore,” Budde said. “I think stopping that has got to be the challenge for us.”
Despite his team’s lackluster season, Budde said it isn’t hard to get the players up for Etowah.
“It’s Etowah week,” Budde said. “They are fired up. I’m sure that Etowah and its players — after coming off of a loss to Cherokee, also, I know they have moved past that. We aren’t looking at the past. We just try to look at those close losses and see what we can do to pull through.”
Etowah (6-1, 3-1) will be looking to recover from the sting of last week’s loss to Cherokee and look to maintain its place in contention for the region championship. The Eagles are tied for the lead with Walton and Lassiter, which they close the season with following tonight’s visit from archrival Woodstock.
There’s also the sting of Etowah’s last encounter with the Wolverines, a 14-7 loss last October at Woodstock. That game saw the Eagles’ bid for a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter silenced when Devezin was stuffed inside the Wolverines’ 5-yard line.