Eagles fall short in weather-delayed opener
♦ The game is delayed more than two hours by lightning in the area.
Friday’s matchup between the Coosa and Trion football teams was delayed by lightning for more than two hours beginning at the start of the third quarter before the Bulldogs were able to pull out a close 18-15 win against the hosting Eagles.
The score was tied at halftime 7-7, and the third quarter had just gotten underway when the game was halted.
Trion took the lead in the third on a 30-yard field goal by Libni Ramirez, and 43-yard run by Hagen Willingham with 3:19 left sealed the win for the Bulldogs (1-0).
“Trion’s a physical football team,” Coosa head coach Todd Wheeler said. “They’re exposing a lot of our weaknesses, and some of our players aren’t playing up to par, but that’s a credit to Trion. They’re playing hard, but we are too.”
Coosa (0-1) tried to rally in the fourth quarter when quarterback Logan Pledger hit Kenon Dixon on a 36-yard pass, but Trion was able to keep the lead out of Coosa’s reach.
In the first half, Pledger was a perfect 3 of 3 for 90 yards. He finished 7 of 14 for 174 yards.
Pledger connected with Malaki Martin on the Eagles’ first drive of the second quarter on a 35-yard pass to tie the game 7-7. Martin had two catches for 84 yards in the loss.
Wheeler said the delay coming at halftime was a convenient time, but keeping the players focused on the game in their downtime was their priority.
“The issue is keeping the kids focused,” Wheeler said. “Kids are going to be kids, and when you keep kids cooped up together in a room long enough, they’re just going to be kids, so trying to keep them focused is a big task.”
Trion took the lead early in the game, but the Coosa defense overcame a sluggish start to keep the Bulldogs scoreless for the remainder of the half. The Bulldogs scored on their opening drive when Willingham scored on a 7-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Tennessee commit and senior tight end Sean Brown helped spark the defense to quell the Bulldogs’ offense. Near the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs went on a drive that went on a 10-play that ate up around six minutes. Brown hit Trion quarterback Lincoln Maddux at the line on a third-down play to end the drive and force the Bulldogs to punt.
Brown had another big tackle when he hit Maddux in the backfield for a 10-yard loss midway through the second quarter.
Jalen Hodge led the Eagles’ ground game with 57 yards on 10 carries. Gavin Hughes only had two carries for the Eagles, but one of his 9-yard runs set up the score that tied the game.