Eagles Pop Poth Pirates 42-25
The Lexington Eagles struck by land and by air as they sent the Poth Pirates into basketball season last Friday. Kogan Garrett orchestrated the Lexington offense without error as the Eagles moved to the Regional Semi-finals in an expected rematch with Refugio, the game Lexington fans have wanted since last season.
The afternoon started differently than most. All but three times this season, Lexington has won the coin toss. Not Friday, as Poth called correctly. Poth then selected to defer to the second half, giving Lexington the ball first. Lexington normally defers and goes on defense to open the game.
The opening kickoff was returned 27 yards by London Jacob to the Eagle 38 yard line. From there, the Eagles used eight running plays to record the game’s first touchdown. Cash Flot carried five times on the drive for 50 of the 62 yards covered. Chase Hibbeler toed the PAT to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead, a lead that would be challenged, but never overcome.
Poth took the ensuing kickoff and mounted a ground-oriented drive toward the Eagle goal line. It took the Pirates seven plays to go the 70 yards for the score. Pirate running back, Phillip Garza went the final 22 yards through the left side of the Eagle defense for the score. Eriq Mitchell came through the Pirate line to block the PAT kick, preserving Lexington’s 7-6 lead.
Logan Meuth returned the Pirate kickoff 19 yards to the Lexington 42 yard line. This Lexington drive was a balanced effort: Lexington passed on three plays and ran on four. The first play was a 22-yard scamper by Kogan Garrett that tightened the Poth defense. A pass for 13 yards to Zach Lay was followed by another pass to Lay for 10 yards. Three running plays netted a first down at the Poth 7yard line. Garrett passed to Mitchell for the score. The nowdependable toe of Hibbeler put Lexington in the lead 14-6.
Poth started their ensuing possession at their own 47 yard line. After two plays, the first quarter ended and the teams changed ends of the field. The Pirates ran off six plays and appeared headed to a score when the Eagle defense made one of “those plays”. Pirate quarterback, Thomas Krawietz, was hit hard on an exchange and fumbled. Corey Strain was on the spot and scooped up the ball, trying to score. Strain was 11 yards behind the original line of scrimmage and Lexington possessed the ball at the Lexington 38.
From the 38, Garrett carried for eight on second down. Garrett passed to Lay for 11, 6, and 7 yards to move the ball to the Poth 31. A holding penalty just added the distance the Eagles had to go for the score. Garrett then passed to London Jacob for 4 and to Jacob for 30 yards, and the score. Hibbeler was true with the kick for a 21-6 Lexington lead.
The Poth possession following the kickoff started at the 25 yard line, since Hibbeler kicked off into the end zone. Poth earned nine yards on the first three downs with time running out in the first half. Poth called time out to discuss the fourth down play. It was a doozie. The quarterback broke for 54 yards right up the middle. He was run down by Jason Washington, who was called for a horse-collar tackle at the Eagle 12. The ball was moved to the six after the penalty. (Better the horse-collar tackle than the touchdown.) Two plays later, Zach Lyssy was in the end zone for Poth. The PAT pass play failed and the score stood 21- 12 Lexington with 3:04 left in the half.
Meuth returned the squib kick to the Lexington 36 yard line. From there, Garrett went to work with the Eagle offense. After two unproductive plays, Garrett took off up the middle for 36 yards. He passed to Lay for 12 more steps. Garrett then ran three consecutive plays for 3, 4, and the final 10 yards for the score. Hibbeler was good to make the score 28-12 at the half. Lexington had scored on every possession in the first half and Poth had scored on two of four.
Poth did not run up the white flag after halftime, but instead they raised the battle flag. Exercising their deferred option, the Pirates received the kickoff. Poth returned the kick off to their own 39 yard line. Seven plays and 61 yards later, the Pirates were in the Eagle end zone. The PAT run was stopped by the Eagle defense. The score was now 28-18 in the Eagles’ favor.
Poth had the momentum and it carried over on the next Lexington possession. Meuth returned the squib kick 18 yards to the Eagle 44. A holding penalty moved the Eagles back to the 34. Garrett then passed to Meuth for 23 yards for a first down. On the next play, a Garrett pass glanced off the hands of a Lexington receiver into the waiting arms of Pirate Blake Lyssy. This was the first Lexington possession of the game that did not result in a score.
Poth started this drive at their own 22 after a personal foul penalty, one of three penalties called on Poth in the game. The Pirates surprised the Eagles by passing on second down for 26 yards. Another running play was followed by a pass for 16 yards, placing the ball at the Eagle 27. The Eagle defense took control of the situation. Poth gained six on first down, two on second and one on third, leaving them with a fourth-and-one. Pirate running back Phillip Garza was stopped by Kevin Letbetter and Jason Washington for a yard loss, and the turnover had been abated.
Lexington took over the ball at their own 19. Lexington moved the ball up the field using short passes and running plays. Lexington was moving the ball consistently until an unsportsmanlike penalty after the play was whistled dead, and put Lexington with a 3rd and 22. Garrett passed to Washington for 17 yards with seconds left in the third quarter. Poth inexplicably did not call time out, letting the Eagles punt with the growing wind. Poth then called time out to start the fourth quarter for another question mark. Lay punted the ball 31 yards with the ball rolling out at the Poth 14.
All of a sudden, Poth had a passing game. It had not been effective most of the game. A 46- yard pass play on third down got the ball to the 49, after two running plays that lost ground. Another 34-yard pass play went for the TD, after a running play. The PAT kick was good, making the score Lexington 28 Poth 25. What had been a comfortable lead for Lexington was now only three points with 8:46 left in the game.
Poth tried to catch Lexington asleep on the kick off with an onside kick. The Pirates touched the ball before it went the required 10 yards. The illegal touching resulted in a penalty, with Lexington starting at the Poth 48. At this point, the Eagles brought in the heavy running game. Lexington ran the ball down the Pirates’ throat with Eriq Mitchell, Cash Flot and Kogan Garrett hammering the Pirates for 9, 3, 11, 11, 6, and the final eight by Flot for the score. Hibbeler made it 35- 25 Lexington, still just a 10 point lead with 6:30 left in the game.
The deep kickoff was returned 32 yards by Zach Lyssy, until Corey Strain stopped the return. From there, with time against the Pirates, Poth went four-and-out. Breyland Chism made a great defensive play on the fourth down pass. Lexington took over at the Poth 42.
For Lexington, a heavy dose of Cash paid dividends after the defensive stop. Flot carried for back to back 16-yard runs. Mitchell was stopped for no gain. Flot then ran the final 10 yards for the score. With the Hibbeler kick, the score was 42-25 Lexington with 3:43 left in the game. What had been a three-point lead just a short time ago was now a comfy 17.
Leading the defense for Lexington were Logan Meuth and Eriq Mitchell with 14 tackles each. Oscar Sauceda was credited with 10 stops, Jason Washington 8, and Corey Strain with 5 tackles and the fumble recovery. Todd Glass had four tackles, a sack, and 3 quarterback hurries.
Offensively, Garrett had 128 yards on 17 carries and 155 yards passing on a 13 of 21 effort. Flot had 126 yards on 14 carries and three scores. Zach Lay had seven receptions for 67 yards.
Lexington is now 9-2 for the season with the big battle with Refugio forthcoming.
Coach Jason Holcomb praised the Lexington fans for their support and said that even more support will be needed as the Eagles progress in the playoffs.