James, Eagles run over Hooper Academy

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2005

Bodie Pickens

HOPE HULL - Fort Dale senior tailback Tim James led the charge with three first half touchdowns and 171 yards on 22 carries in the Eagles' 25-16 victory over Hooper at Davis Henry Field Friday night.

Fort Dale stampeded the Colts for 271 rushing yards as well as four rushing touchdowns.

Eagle's Head Coach James Sampley discussed the opening region win.

"It's especially important to win your region games and that's exactly what we did tonight," Sampley said.

In this game, Fort Dale set the tone early on the opening kickoff as James returned it 40 yards to the Colts 31-yard line.

It just took four plays thereafter as James took a handoff 24 yards for the TD on a 4th and 3 conversion.

The Eagles jumped to a 6-0 lead with 9:32 left in the opening quarter.

James amassed 130 yards in the first half alone.

"That's what we expect from Tim.

He had a good game and it showed," Sampley stated.

The Eagles also showed and flexed its defensive muscle.

Fort Dale only allowed 22 passing yards and just 144 total yards on the night.

"I was proud of the defensive effort tonight.

We had some guys out injured tonight but the ones behind them stepped up and executed," Sampley said.

Teammates Brady Newton and Cory Johnson led the defense with 10 tackles each.

Not to be outdone, Eagle defenders Peter McGowin, John Louis Golson and Casey Weston had significant contributions in the win.

"We'll continue to get better on defense as the season goes on," Samply said.

As the game went on in the first half, the Eagles eventually pulled away with three quick touchdown drives.

The Eagles started their third drive with :59 seconds left in the first quarter at their 40-yard line.

From there, James took over with several runs as well as an 11-yard reception from Weston.

With 9:42 remaining in the second quarter, James busted through the middle for a one-yard TD.

A botched two-point conversion gave Fort Dale a 12-0 lead.

On the night, Weston completed 7 of 11 passes for 94 yards.

"Casey made some good throws," Sampley said.

"Offensively, we did great in the first half."

Hooper then responded with a four-play touchdown drive highlighted by a 51 yard run by tailback Todd Sullivan.

However, that's all the Colts offense could muster against the stout Eagle defense.

Fort Dale then countered with a 5-play 83-yard TD drive of its own.

On the first snap at their 17-yard line, Weston connected with senior wideout Taylor Causey on a 42-yard pass.

Causey led all wideouts with 51 yards receiving.

"Hooper committed to the run on that play and we took advantage of it," Sampley said.

On the fourth play at the Hooper 37-yard line, James weaved thru and eluded tacklers en route to a 34-yard run the 3-yard line.

The tailback then followed thru with a three-yard run up the middle for the 18-6 lead with 5:48 remaining in the second quarter.

The Eagle defense came thru once again as Weston intercepted a Hooper pass at the Colts' 42-yard line with 4:17 left in the half.

"He (Casey) made a nice read on the ball," Sampley said.

With Newton in now as quarterback, he led the Eagles on a 42-yard six-play drive for the half ending score.

McGowin and Mika Jones made key runs to keep this drive alive.

Jones reached paydirt as he scored on a 7-yard run with 1:18 left in the second quarter.

Golson added the extra point for the 25-6 lead.

In the second half, the Eagles tried to open the passing game but then relied on the running game to close out the win.

"We threw too much in the second half.

Next time, we'll take what is given to us," Sampley said.

In the second half, the Eagles gave up a safety and a blocked punt that helped the Colts narrow the score to 25-16.

"Our special teams were not so special in the second half.

That will be addressed this week in practice," Sampley stated.

However, Sampley re-emphasized the defensive effort.

"Our defense played with consistency tonight and I like that," he said.

Senior defensive lineman Will Dixon and Golson each had fumble recoveries while McGowin and Jeremy Huckaba each had a quarterback sack.

"We'll learn from this win and get ready for two back-to-back region games," Sampley said.

Fort Dale will host Mobile Christian next Friday night.

"It should be a tough game and our coaching staff will have our guys ready to play," Sampley said.