EA­GLES

Starkville Daily News - - COMICS -

day night. Tan­ner Knight threw for 403 yards on 14-of-18 with four pass­ing touch­downs and an­other rush­ing score. His fa­vorite tar­get, Al Du­mas, also had a huge night with seven catches for 211 yards and two scores.

It was some­thing that Knight, his coaches and team­mates saw on film that led to the big evening.

“We saw that they were a one-high safety and we’ve been play­ing a lot of two-high safeties the last few weeks,” Knight said. “We picked on the side that he didn’t go to.”

Le­flore County (6-2, 1-1) got an early lead when it marched down the field on the open­ing drive and scored a 2-yard touch­down for a 6-0 ad­van­tage. Eu­pora took con­trol af­ter that.

Tan­ner Knight quickly got the Ea­gles into the end zone when he hit Zack Cooper for a 7-yard pass and fol­lowed that up on the next pos­ses­sion with a nifty 8-yard run. A safety on the first play of the next drive caused by Ash Du­mas made it 17-6 af­ter a quar­ter of play.

Knight and the of­fense con­tin­ued to step on the gas pedal and he found Al Du­mas for 37-yard touch­down passes on con­sec­u­tive drives and sud­denly Eu­pora was up 32-6. The Ea­gles did fal­ter the rest of the quar­ter start­ing with Pre­ston Perkins’ fum­ble at the 2-yard-line head­ing into the end zone. Knight threw a pick six and the Ea­gles missed a chance at more points at the last sec­ond of the half on a 14-yard pass that went off of Al Du­mas’ hands and it was 32-14 at the break.

Knight came out strong in the third quar­ter. De­spite tak­ing two sacks, the se­nior quar­ter­back went 3-for-3 pass­ing on the drive with three big pass plays, the third of which was a 27-yard touch­down to Cooper to make it 39-14.

Eu­pora kept Le­flore County in the game al­low­ing a 60-yard touch­down drive to cut it to 39-20 and an on­side kick kept some mo­men­tum in the Tigers’ fa­vor. They marched it back in­side the 10-yard-line and scored from 2 yards out to get it to 39-26 head­ing into the fourth quar­ter.

Le­flore County wasted no time get­ting back into the end zone as it scored on a 6-yard run to get the game within sin­gle dig­its at 39-32 early in the fourth.

Knight and the Ea­gles’ of­fense fi­nally got back in the end zone. Knight made a cou­ple of big pass plays to put them in­side the 5-yard-line and that’s where Pre­ston Perkins scored to make it 4632 with over 7 min­utes left. Le­flore County gave it­self a chance with an­other score and got a two-point con­ver­sion to cut it to six, but the Ea­gles took a big chance to seal it. On third and long with over 1 minute left, Knight hit Jalan Potts for a 40-yard catch to the 3-yard-line and that won it for the Ea­gles.

“We knew that Jalan matched up well with the safety and I threw him a good jump ball and he went and got it,” Knight said.

The Ea­gles (6-2, 1-1) looked much more like the team that they have been most of the sea­son to their coach on Thurs­day. It was a wel­comed sight af­ter a frus­trat­ing Fri­day night last week at Wi­nona.

Now they’ve set them­selves up to still com­pete for the Re­gion 2 crown if all things fall cor­rectly the next two weeks. Eu­pora has a much-needed off week that Ed­wards is wel­com­ing be­fore the team goes to Cal­houn City in two weeks for the fi­nal game of the reg­u­lar sea­son in what could be for the divi­sion cham­pi­onship.

For now, Ed­wards is go­ing to be happy to get back to .500 in league play.

“We knew in prac­tice and even in pre game that we had a lot more fo­cus and we had en­ergy,” Ed­wards said. “Last week it seemed like we were drag­ging. We’re go­ing to en­joy the win and take Fri­day and Mon­day off. It’s been a dog fight for us ev­ery week. We have no easy teams on our sched­ule.”

(Cour­tesy pho­tos)

Starkville Academy was well-rep­re­sented at the MAIS All-Star Soc­cer Games as KarLee McNeel, Mary Mar­garet McReynolds and Milla Davis par­tic­i­pated and JoJo Dodd was a coach.

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