EAGLEVILLE -- Despite a season’s-best passing performance from Te’Varius Strayhorn, Mt. Pleasant came up short again Friday night.
The Tigers’ 14-6 loss at Eagleville marked their fourth one-possession defeat in a 1-7 campaign.
“’T’ worked really hard these last two weeks to get those passes on, because it’s been a weak part of our game. They were right on point,” Mt. Pleasant coach Bronson Bradley said after Strayhorn completed 8 of 12 passes for 102 yards and his team’s only touchdown – a 7-yarder to Demarkus Brown on the first offensive possession of the night.
Celebrating homecoming, the Eagles (4-5) countered quickly as quarterback Marcus Collins went 65 yards on their first play from scrimmage to tie the game.
“We went back and answered them,” Eagleville coach Floyd Walker said regarding the speedy response. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a guy that’s very athletic at quarterback. He’s done a great job for us, and he did another great job (Friday). We always go into it thinking he’s going to make a couple of plays; he’s a competitive kid, he likes to win.
“We didn’t think we’d pop one for 65 on the first play. They drove the ball down, and we matched it on the first play. That’s what we needed to do to stay in the game.”
Mt. Pleasant missed an opportunity to answer Eagleville’s answer, as Ladontay Patton’s 71-yard scoring run was wiped off by an offensive penalty. After swapping punts, the Tigers suffered the first of three fumbles to set up the hosts’ go-ahead – and eventual winning – score as Collins threw to Kaden Snitzer for 26 yards early in the second quarter.
“I think our kid slipped, and that was the ballgame,” Bradley said. “It started raining, and we couldn’t throw it in the rain at all.”
Mt. Pleasant outgained Eagleville on the night, but slowed itself with a fumble before the 40-minute lightning delay at the end of the third period and with another after returning from the break. Despite 15 first downs for the game, the Tigers only penetrated Eagleville’s 35-yard line once after their scoring drive. The visitors were unable to convert on fourth-and-1 from the Eagle 12 with a minute remaining in the opening half.
“I think our defense has carried us all year,” Walker said. “Defense kept us in the ballgame. We took advantage of some turnovers. In a sloppy game like this, turnovers can be the difference. The kids have done a really good job of getting the ball back for us.”
On the heels of an 18-14 Region 5-2A win at Summertown, Eagleville takes some momentum into its season finale next week at league rival Loretto as the Eagles try to secure the No. 3 seed for postseason play.
“We weren’t really worried about last week,” Walker said. “We just wanted to go 1-0 this week.”
Collins finished with 117 rushing yards on 12 carries for Eagleville.