2011-12-08 / Sports

Eagles’ Talons are ShArp

by Mike Organ

Kogan Garrett rolls out as he prepares to throw a touchdown pass to Jason Washington. 
PHOTO BY MIKE ORGAN. Kogan Garrett rolls out as he prepares to throw a touchdown pass to Jason Washington. PHOTO BY MIKE ORGAN. Lexington defeated Arp 47-20 Friday night for the Region III Championship. The win sets up a semi-final rematch from 2010 against the Refugio Bobcats.

Arp scored first as they took the opening kickoff and marched 71 yards to open the scoring. Little did anyone know that Lexington would score the next 27 points and put the game out of reach for Arp.

Kogan Garrett led the Eagle charge as he scored four touchdowns and passed for two more. Garrett’s offensive line of Tommy Stegall, Kevin Johnson, Will Holcomb, Jacob Warner, and Chase Hibbeler gave him ample time to survey the receivers and find the one that was wide open. Garrett’s pinpoint passing, he hit on 12 of 15 tosses for 167 yards, was something Arp could not defend.

The Lexington running game was also a run away train as A.J. Flot and Garrett each rushed for over 100 yards. The running game allowed the offensive line the opportunity to give Garrett ample time to pass.

After the aforementioned opening TD, Lexington took over the scoreboard until late in the third quarter. The first score came quickly after Arp had put a crooked number on the scoreboard. Lexington drove 61 yards, using six plays and 3:28 seconds of game time to tie the score at six. The highlight of the drive was the first of Garrett’s completions. This one went to Josh Murray for 35 yards to move the ball to the Arp 15 yard line. The second to A.J. Flot, carried down to the Tiger seven. Garrett did the honors on the next play, covering the remaining yardage for the score. Chase Hibbeler’s PAT kick was wide.

Arp’s possession after the Eagle score stopped at the 50 yard line. Arp’s 30 yard punt was returned 18 yards by Jason Washington. From the 38, Lexington could only muster 17 yards with five plays. With the ball at the Arp 45-yard line, one of the game’s turning points occurred. Zach Lay’s 43-yard punt was downed by Donnie Havard at the two-yard line. The field position hurt Arp’s offense. With the score tied, the Tigers played it close to the vest. Three running plays netted only four yards against the Eagle Defense. The 33-yard punt was returned by Washington to the Arp 22. Seven plays later, Garrett was lying in the end zone, again, putting Lexington ahead permanently.

The next game-altering play occurred just before halftime. Arp was putting together an answered drive for Lexington’s score. They had moved to the Lexington eightyard line. The Tiger quarterback, under duress from the Eagle defense, threw a pass that was intercepted by A.J. Flot at the three-yard line. The INT took the wind out of Arp’s sails well into the second half.

Lexington capitalized on having the momentum after the half. Lexington started from their own 19. The Eagles lost a yard on first down, then Garrett hit Washington for a 63-yard gain on second down. Three A.J. Flot runs got the ball to the six. Garrett rolled out to his right and found Washington in the back of the end zone for the score. Hibbeler toed the PAT for a 20-6 Eagle lead.

Arp moved the ball down the field somewhat after the kickoff. On the sixth play, Arp went for it on fourth down. Antonio Washington made the stop, short of the first down, giving Lexington the ball at their own 43-yard line. After a couple of losses on first and second, A.J. Flot broke free for a 57-yard gain down to the Arp three yard line. Garrett ran for two and then for the final yard for the score. Hibbeler toed the PAT to make the score 27-6 Lexington.

Arp responded after allowing Lexington 27 unanswered points. Two big plays, one for 22 and one for 25, got the Tigers into the end zone and back into the game with the score 27-12.

The quick score fired up the Eagle offense. Garrett ran for 11, Flot ran for 14, and Garrett passed to Josh Murray for the final 30 yards. Hibbeler toed the PAT giving Lexington a 34- 12 advantage.

The next disaster happened to Arp as Antonio Washington forced a fumble that Zach Lay recovered at the 44 yard line. From there Lexington went on a 12-play drive that started with 0:02 in the third quarter and ended at 8:10 of the fourth when Garrett crossed the goal line for the fourth time, putting Lexington up 40-12. The PAT snap was fumbled. Arp’s Marcalas Johnson scooped it up and headed to the other end zone with A.J. Flot in hot pursuit. Johnson made it by a whisker, making the score 40-14.

Arp was forced to pass to catch up. A.J. Flot captured an errant aerial to snuff out any chances the Tigers had left. The pilfer happened at the Lexington 40 and was returned 27 yards to the Arp 33. From there Lexington moved toward the goal line. Stevie Burleson carried the ball for the final five yards for the Eagles’ final score. Hibbeler toed the PAT to make the score 47-14.

Arp scored a meaningless TD with 45 seconds left in the game against a mixture of substitutes and JV players.

Tyler Meyer led the Eagles in tackles with 14 stops. Eriq Mitchell continues to come up big as he contributed eight tackles. Antonio Washington had seven stops to go with his forced fumble. Oscar Sauceda returned to form with seven tackles. Josh Murray contributed six tackles to go with his huge offensive night. Ray Gardner had six tackles and Colt Sunvison four stops. A.J. Flot had two tackles to go with his two interceptions.

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