Straughn defeats Eagles, 41-21

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 29, 2003

Football season started with a win for the Straughn Tigers.

The Tigers travelled to Pleasant Home School and earned a 41-21 victory against the Eagles.

The win was nice, but the game and the way his team played did not sit well with Straughn Head Coach Trent Taylor.

"We'll go back to the field house, take a shower and get to work," Taylor said near midfield following the game. "The kids know and the coaches certainly know Š we have a long way to go."

The Tigers face the No. 1 ranked T.R. Miller Tigers in Brewton next week. Taylor said the Straughn Tigers must improve before that game.

"We go to T.R. Miller next week and if we don't get better defensively it could get ugly," Taylor said.

He said there is ample room for improvement.

"We have a lot of work to do," Taylor said. "I'm afraid next week we'll find out just how far we have to go."

First-year Pleasant Home Head Coach Jimmy Reeves said his group just got beat by a better team.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Reeves said. "We just played a great football team."

Straughn went on top early in the game taking the opening kickoff to set up a two-play scoring drive.

Straughn quarterback Justin Bracewell hit Justin Freeney on a post pattern for a 63-yard scoring strike with 11:05 left to play in the opening quarter. Garrett Windham added the PAT and Straughn was on top 7-0 less than one minute into the game.

Pleasant Home earned one first down on the ensuing drive before being held by the Straughn defense.

Straughn got the ball back via a punt and used a three-play drive for another touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

Michael Hobbs had a 62-yard run that would have been a touchdown if not for the hard work of David Hamby. Hamby made a touchdown-saving tackle, but Straughn scored two plays later when Bracewell ran it in from five yards out. Windham's PAT was good and the Tigers were out in front 14-0 with 7:11 left in the first period.

Hobbs added a third Straughn score late in the first quarter on a 17-yard run. Windham's PAT was good and Straughn was on top 21-0.

The Tigers stretched the lead to 27-0 with 10:04 remaining in the second quarter when Bracewell found Al Freeney for a 39-yard pass play. Windham missed the PAT, but Straughn was on top 27-0.

Pleasant Home scored on the ensuing possession. The bulk of the work on the drive was done by Hamby. He had seven carries during the drive, including a two-yard touchdown plunge.

Big pass plays also helped the drive. Pleasant Home quarterback Brad Sanders found Casey Boyington for a 22-yard gain. He also hit John Bishop for a 23-yard gain during the drive.

Bishop's catch converted a fourth-and-15 situation from the 25-yard line. It set up the Eagles' offense with a

first down at the two-yard line where Hamby took a handoff and scored.

The PAT was no good, but Pleasant Home was on the scoreboard and trailed 27-6 with 4:37 left in the first half.

Straughn's Justin Freeney answered immediately for the Tigers returning the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Windham converted the extra point and Straughn held a 34-6 lead with 4:22 left in the half.

Straughn scored its final points of the game in the second half when Josh Cottle caught a deflected pass for an interception and raced 47 yards for a touchdown. Windham's PAT was good and Straughn was on top 41-6 with 9:40 left in the third quarter.

Brent Carter scored late in the game for Pleasant Home on a two-yard run after moving the ball down to the two-yard line with a 33-yard rush.

The Eagles went for two and Hamby carried it in to give Pleasant Home 14 points to Straughn's 41.

Hamby added a touchdown run of his own with 6:44 left in the game. Scotty McCraney's PAT was good and the Eagles trailed Straughn 41-21.

Straughn returns to the road next Friday night with a game against T.R. Miller in Brewton. The game is a region game.

Pleasant Home will also be on the road next Friday night. The Eagles travel to Zion Chapel for a region game.