2013-09-05 / Sports

Eagle Comeback Falls Short

by Mike Organ

Nic Dillon had three touchdowns for the Eagles Friday night, against the Crockett Bulldogs. 
PHOTO BY MARK STRAIN. Nic Dillon had three touchdowns for the Eagles Friday night, against the Crockett Bulldogs. PHOTO BY MARK STRAIN. Lexington scored on the last play of regulation time to close to 35-34 Friday night. However, Lexington missed the PAT kick that would have tied the game. This was after Lexington spotted Crockett a 21-0 lead, then staged a furious comeback that fell short on the missed extra point that would have sent them into overtime.

Berto Lara brought the Eagle team to life with a tremendous run of 38 yards mid-way of the second quarter. Lara took the hand-off on a zone read play. He headed around the right side of the offense and cut the run up field. Lara dismissed five Crockett players trying to tackle him. He met the knockdown type of tackle with his shoulder pads, and the Crockett defenders bounced off. One potential tackler dove at his legs. A quick stop allowed the obstacle to pass by, and he was back on his way. The run enthused the meager crowd and fired up the team. Lara rushed for 23 yards on the next play that carried to the one yard line. Nic Dillon then scored from the one, followed by Noble Little’s kick, and the score was cut to 21-7.

Corey Strain outruns and out maneuvers his opponent on this touchdown run last Friday night in Crockett. Corey Strain outruns and out maneuvers his opponent on this touchdown run last Friday night in Crockett. The Eagles followed the touchdown with a solid goal line stand at their own one yard line, as the first half ended. The young birds were gaining confidence as the game played out.

After the half time shows by the bands, Lexington kicked off to Crockett. A ragged three-and-out by Crockett saw a couple of big plays negated by penalties, which resulted in a punt. Lara broke for a big run, only to see it zeroed out because of a holding penalty. On second down, Dillon rode the ball in Lara’s belly into the line of scrimmage. Dillon pulled the ball and fired a perfect pass to Corey Strain. The play resulted in a 48- yard pass and run for an Eagle touchdown. Little’s kick was good. The Eagles were back in the game with momentum on their side!

The ensuing kick off could have squelched all the Eagle enthusiasm. The Crockett kick off receiver, Carlton Shirley, took Little’s short kick off at the 24 yard line on the Eagle side of the field. He cut back across the field, picking up two or three illegal blocks. The result was a 76-yard kick-off return that put Crockett back ahead 28-14.

The teams traded possessions, then Lexington started another scoring drive. Dillon got nine on a second down run. Lara was stopped for a yard loss on third. Coach Kirk Muhl decided to go for it on fourth and two. Dillon kept the ball after a great fake to Lara for 28-yard gain, and picked up a facemask penalty for good measure. With the ball on the 19 yard line, Dillon executed the read perfectly, taking the ball right up the middle for a touchdown, closing the score at 28-21.

After a short Crockett punt was fair caught by Kevin Letbetter at the 49, the Eagles set out to tie the game. On third and 17, Dillon hit Strain with a pass for 24 yards. The play also incurred a personal foul penalty against Crockett, and the ball ended at the 19 yard line. La’Chea Cooper ran for 15 yards to the four. Dillon then scored his third TD of the night. With Little’s kick, the score stood 28 all, with about seven minutes left.

Neither team was through scoring. Crockett took a Lexington punt at the 39 yard line. Corey Strain parked the kick returner in his tracks. On the first play, Crockett threw a perfect pass to a streaking receiver for a 61-yard touchdown play, with 2:40 left in the game. A couple of Crockett supporters were heard to say, “We scored too soon.”

Ryan Garrison fair caught the kick-off at the Eagle 35. Dillon completed a pass for eight yards. Dillon then ran for eight more, and a first down, on the Bulldog 49 yard line. Dillon scampered for 14 more yards and went out of bounds, stopping the clock. Lara took a hand-off for eight, moving the ball to the 27. Dillon ran for three, getting a much needed first down, and stopped the clock, while the chains were being reset. A defensive penalty moved the ball to the Crockett 11. Lara ran for nine, to the two yard line, with 10 seconds left. An incomplete pass left two seconds on the game clock. Lara took it into the end zone as time expired to make the score 35-34 with the PAT try to come. The try failed, and Crockett fans were able to breathe again. They knew that their team was in trouble if Lexington tied the score, forcing the game into overtime.

The Eagle defense was great after the first five minutes of the game. Chase Allert, Lara, and Strain led the Eagle defense that limited the Bulldogs to 21 points and less than 200 yards after the first five minutes of the game. The young Eagle D had Crockett thankful they were able to get the two quick scores at the beginning of the game. Allert and Lara had 10 tackles each and caused several more with their aggressive attacking. Strain had seven tackles and three sacks from his defensive back position.

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