Eagles ease to homecoming victory over Lee-Scott

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 1, 2005

Fort Dale coach James "Speed" Sampley knew that his team would come away with a win Friday night against an overmatched Lee-Scott team. The question was how soon would his Eagle team put the game on ice.

After playing through a scoreless first quarter, Fort Dale scored 26-straight points behind a 173-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance by senior tailback Tim James to cruise to an easy homecoming victory Friday night.

The Eagles (5-1) pitched a shutout until the midway mark of the fourth quarter, but gave up a late touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

"We came out a little sketchy in the first quarter, but then we finally got it going," James said. "We had some dumb penalties during the game, but it seems like we get better each week."

One particular penalty cost James a 75-yard touchdown run on a fourh-and-1 play. James broke away from the heart of the Warrior defense and sprinted to the end zone only for the touchdown to be nullified by the a penalty.

Fort Dale kept the ball on the ground much of the game by rushing for 360 of the Eagles' 448 yards of total offense. The Eagle defense limited Lee-Scott to just 125 yards total offense.

"We knew that Fort Dale had a great team, and we knew they would be ready to play,"Lee-Scott coach Roddie Beck said. "They are that typical smashmouth football team that likes to overpower you. We were able to hang with them in the first quarter, but we could not hold on."

Following the scoreless quarter, the eighth-ranked Eagles struck paydirt first through the air. Quarterback Casey Weston hit Brady Newton on a 27-yard strike with 11:44 left in the first half for a 6-0 lead.

On the first play of Lee-Scott's next possession Warrior quarterback Will Ruffin lost the handle on the football, and Eagle linebacker Peter McGowin scooped up the ball to race 49 yards for another touchdown with 9:45 left in the second quarter.

James made it 19-0 with 7:13 left in the half on one of his two touchdown runs. The Eagles capped a five-play, 44-yard drive with his 29-yard run.

After forcing winless Lee-Scott to punt, James scored his final touchdown of the night with an 82-yard sprint down the left sideline to give Fort Dale a comfortable 26-point cushion.

"A lot of things played into us not looking sharp tonight," Sampley said. "Homecoming for one, because of the week-long distractions, and the fact that Lee-Scott has struggled all season. But a game like this didn't hurt us."

James said that half of the this past week's practice time was spent working on the Eagles' upcoming opponent (Faith Academy).

"We probably were 50-50 getting ready for Lee-Scott and Faith," he said.

After pulling the starters in the first half, Fort Dale put the finishing touches on its victory with a 41-yard touchdown run by Barry Boan on the last play of the third quarter.

The Warriors, who have been riddled with injuries and a low number of players, managed to avoid the shutout by reaching the end zone midway through the fourth quarter.

Ruffin found Chase Mitchell on a 53-yard pass play to make the final tally 32-7.