Ea­gles fall short in weather-de­layed opener

♦ The game is de­layed more than two hours by light­ning in the area.

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Jonathan Blay­lock JBlay­[email protected]

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.

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