GAME FOUR – HOTZE FIELD INSIDE GRANGER STADIUM
Eagle Football 28
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Receiving mates Spencer Kryger ‘20 and Cameron Bonner ‘21 tag-teamed for a pitch and catch touchdown for the second consecutive week … a stunning 52-yard score with 1:30 remaining in the game to seal a pulse pounding come from behind 28-21 homecoming win over Stafford to give the Eagles (2-2) their second straight victory.
After erasing a 21-7 halftime deficit to pull even at 21-21 midway in the fourth quarter, the Eagles took possession at their own 12-yard line with 5:16 remaining in the stanza. On second and 18 near midfield inside of two minutes, the play call was “Unicorn” that had worked to perfection for a 65-yard touchdown in the previous week to cement the 27-10 win over Kinkaid.
Kopp again delivered a dart in the left flat to Kryger for a lateral that caused a confused Stafford secondary to overcommit and allowed Bonner to escape deep behind the coverage. He made the grab in stride and angled across the field to the end zone for the game’s pivotal play – a just reward for a revved up Red & White crowd and all the fingers likely calloused from the praying they no doubt had been doing in the waning seconds
VENI VIDI VICIOUS
The Eagle defense turned nasty after allowing a 68-yard touchdown reception on a third and 28 sideline throw on their opening series.
In the second half, St. Thomas forced two third period turnovers, an interception from Cameron McCurry ‘21 and a fumble recovery from Jackson Phillips ‘20, plus three straight three-and-out punts and the last stand stop on fourth down from their own 36-yard line to seal the outcome.
FRIDAY NIGHT FIVE
1. Two plays following the McCurry takeaway, Kopp connected with Drake Martinez ‘21 at the 7:29 mark of the third period for a short range score to narrow the gap to 21-14. Kopp (25-29, 239 yards) then orchestrated a 66-yard drive in nine plays that workhorse running back John Fontenot ‘21 (23 carries for 86 yards) capped from eight yards out to even the count at 21-21.
2. The Eagles’ second series covered 76 yards over 15 plays to the Stafford six-yard line. But the opportunity for points suddenly tilted the opposite way with an end zone interception that was promptly returned 101 yards to put St Thomas behind 14-0.
3. The first St. Thomas scoring drive was pushed back to the 11-yard line after a clipping penalty on the ensuing kickoff return. Following an incompletion, Stafford was flagged for offsides. Kopp then completed three consecutive passes worth 32 yards and dialed up Bonner for a jump ball reception on the right sideline for 29 yards setting up a payoff touchdown to Josh Crissmon ‘20 on the next snap.
4. On the tying touchdown possession, Kopp found Bonner (155 yards total offense) for 11 yards, Kryger for 13 and Crissmon for 10 before Fontenot’s third touch of the series resulted in his touchdown. The three targets combined for 13 receptions and 213 yards.
5. The opening kickoff was delayed 45 minutes due to lightning after days of torrential rains saturating the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Two years after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, greater Houston was left to deal with Tropical Storm Imelda and its wettest calendar day ever recorded in the month of September – waterlogged homes, blocked roads, and flash flooding conditions from a storm that dumped as much as 43 inches of water in the region to become one of the most relentless tropical cyclones in United States history.
St. Thomas was proud to honor 2019 homecoming queen Alanis Meza from Incarnate Word Academy and her distinguished court … Janean Silva from St. Agnes Academy, Kellie Langeland from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, and Sophia Cantoni, Grace Fisher and Darby Brown from IWA.
WEEK FOUR || FIRST HALF
WEEK FOUR || SECOND HALF
STATE OF PLAY
The Eagles controlled both lines of scrimmage as much with brains and leverage as they did with pure brawn. And were presented with so many chances for points they eventually found a way to capitalize. Kopp continues to evolve at quarterback after only four varsity starts with a too blessed to be stressed vibe, a too new to be nervous nonchalance that defies simple understanding.
There was no panic within the team despite the early malfunctions, a week filled with distractions, and zero on field preparation due to the chaos created by Imelda. Instead Eagle Football relied on considerable poise, resilience, determination, and execution – a belief born in strategy as well as each other.
It’s dangerous to make too many sweeping generalizations off a small four-game two-win sample size. But in their second straight triumph, the Eagles settled in and emerged with all the verve and daring that their opponents lacked.
Eagle Football hosts Cedar Hill Trinity Christian as the programs engage for the third consecutive year. The visitors are forming an encore to an undefeated 2018 and back-to-back TAPPS Division II state championships.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders again serves as the team’s offensive coordinator with his son Shedeur Sanders a four star recruit and the 13th rated pro style quarterback in the national Class of 2021 by 247Sports.com. He threw for 3,088 yards and 42 touchdowns last season.
Eagle Fight Never Dies!
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