Eagles outlast Covenant for region victory
by Emanuel County Live | September 30, 2008 12:00 am
by ANDY CALLAWAY
The first region contest of the 2008 football season produced the desired result for David Emanuel Academy as the Eagles defeated Covenant Academy of Macon 36-26 last Friday night in Stillmore. With the win, DEA improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the region while Covenant dropped to 3-2 and 0-1.
The final score and the final stats indicate that this contest was a shootout of the classic variety. But in spite of the fact that the two teams combined for over 800 yards of total offense, including 334 passing yards by Covenant, the Eagles were able to maintain a two score advantage from early in the second period until the last buzzer sounded.
“Overall I thought we had a solid night on both sides of the ball, especially considering that we were starting three freshmen” said Coach James Ferry.
The Eagles scored first following a 36 yard punt return by Sanquell Wilson that put the ball at the Covenant 30 yard line. Two plays later Derek Lindsey put the first points on the board with a 21 yard dash which was followed by a successful extra point kick by Jordan Wiley.
The Rams, playing in their first season of varsity football in the GISA, responded with a score of their own. Sophomore quarterback Andretti Loyd connected with Gunnar Mendiola for a 19 yard pickup and then completed a pass to Sam Ashmore for 21 yards down to the DEA two. After a tackle for loss, Covenant scored when Micah Moore crashed in from four yards away. Reece Freel’s extra point tied the game at seven with 4:22 left in the period.
DEA pulled away and kept the lead for good after back-to-back scores. A 50 yard jaunt by Ashton Lanier after catching a Jordan Wiley pass put DEA in business at the Rams three yard line. Lanier then did scoring honors on the next play with Wiley adding the extra point. The lead extended on the Eagle’s first snap of the second period as the speedster Derek Lindsey out outside and sprinted 91 yards to glory land giving DEA a 20-7 lead.
Moments later, Lindsey electrified the crowd again with an interception return of 91 yards and a touchdown only to have the play nullified by an illegal block in the back. Then, after one play had ran, Ashton Lanier raced 67 yards fro an apparent score only to have another penalty wipe out the play. For Lanier it was the fourth TD of the season he has had called back.
After the Lanier play was called back, the Eagles did drive down and score following a 17 yard pass play with Wiley finding Miles Patterson who carried the ball to the Rams eight. When the drive stalled there, Wiley booted a 25 yard field goal to make the score 23-7.
Covenant threatened just before the half after a pass play from Loyd to Mendiola gained 40 yards to the DEA 20. But three plays later on fourth and one, Ashton Lanier threw Stephen Howard for a two yard loss to kill that opportunity.
In the third quarter, Covenant drove 61 yards in nine plays to cut into the lead. Loyd’s pass of 20 yards to Michael Battle with 4:40 left in the third quarter made it a 23-14 score after Freel’s PAT kick was good.
The teams traded scores for the remainder of the game. Sanquell Wilson’s two yard run and Wiley’s subsequent extra point put DEA out in front by a score of 30-13 late in the third period. The Rams then went 64 yards on a drive that was capped by a three yard pass from Loyd to Mendiola. But the Eagles answered with a 68 yard march that extend their lead and consumed much of the fourth quarter time. Jordan Wiley’s two yard with 4:17 left gave the Eagles a 36-20 lead. Andretti Loyd’s one yard run with 42 seconds left ended the scoring in the game.
Individual leaders in the win for DEA included Derek Lindsey who ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries. Sanquell Wilson had 78 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts while Ashton Lanier had 52 yards and a score on seven carries and another 63 yards receiving with three catches. Hudson Johnson led the defense with 11 and1/2 tackles followed by Jordan Wiley with nine and 1/2, including two for loss, Derek Lindsey with eight and 1/2, including one for loss, one fumble caused, three batted passes and an interception with a return of 26 yards, and Ashton Lanier with eight tackles.
The Eagles will be on the road this week as they ravel to Cordele to face Crisp Academy in the final non-region game of the season.