‘On a high note’

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Eagles in district hunt after Caverna win

Speed. Tackles. Blocking. Lots and lots of blocking.
Those were just some of the elements that turned what might have been a close football game between the Eagles and the Caverna Colonels into a Fort Knox High School senior night to remember.
Score aside, the Colonels moved the ball effectively against the Eagles throughout much of the game. When it came time to shut down their offense, though, the Eagles stepped up big with intense pressure on the quarterback and key tackles at or behind the line.
Going into the half, the Eagles enjoyed a comfortable 28-0 lead. Maybe a little too comfortable.
The Colonels came out strong in the third quarter determined to exploit the halftime break. It worked as they shut down the Eagles’ first drive, got the ball back and decisively marched down the field for their first score.
“The guys got tired a little bit on us coming back in the second half,” said Coach Sam Wilson. “They were a little flat and it gave the Colonels a little momentum, but they refocused and kept on playing football.”
After the Colonels’ first score, the Eagles quickly struck back. Within a few plays, quarterback Maleeq White answered the Colonels’ attempt to close the gap with a long run to the right side.
Several more times, White and running backs Jerome Jones, Kaylon Luster and Tjuante Pittman broke through the Colonels’ weak side for long yardage touchdowns with the help of superb blocking by Hector Villalpando, Ethan Stagg, Christian Castro and the other linemen.
“They kept switching to my power side all night so we said, ‘Okay, if you want to switch then we’ll switch, too,’”
said Wilson. “And we stayed with our basic running plays all night.”
A second-half fog rolled in like a prediction of the Colonels’ chances to turn the game around in their favor. As the clock wore down, the score climbed in favor of the Eagles.
Late in the fourth, Pittman leapt over a defender at the goal line to raise the Eagle tally to 58. Fans erupted.
The Colonels got the ball back and tried to move it quickly down field. Freshman Isaiah Butler dashed their hopes for a third touchdown with a big interception. Shortly afterward, White bolted into the end zone with a few seconds on the clock and Butler capped the TD to put 66-14 on the final scoreboard.
“This was a big district game for us,” said Wilson. “I feel good. Anytime you win, it’s going to feel good waking up in the morning after a victory.”
The Eagles demonstrated they can win. Wilson said they’ll need that momentum going forward.
“We have a tough game coming up next week in Bethlehem, another very important district game,” Wilson said. “The kids are on a high note right now and they’re playing really good football, so I like our chances.”