Eagles scrape by Wildcats

Published 12:16 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

In a tension-filled second half, the Pleasant Home Eagles narrowly edged by the Florala Wildcats,14 to 13.

“If we win by one, that’s the key,” said Pleasant Home coach Ronnie Douglas. “A win is a win is a win. Regional play is always tough, but these boys did great tonight. Dustin Taylor got a lot of tackles in, and John Cole ran back one for a touchdown.”

Douglas said the team made some adjustments at halftime, but still had issues with penalties and turnovers in the second half.

“Those are some things we’ve got to correct, but (Friday), we’re glad to get a win,” he said.

The Eagles were first on the scoreboard with 4:43 left in the first quarter. An interception by Florala’s Hunter Oswald soon turned the game, giving Florala its first chance at the end zone to tie the game 7-7 with 9:35 in the second.

It looked like the Wildcats were going to hold the Eagles to a tie heading into the half; however, Pleasant Home scored with a quarterback keeper around the right with 37 seconds left on the clock. The point after attempt was good, bringing the score to 14-7 at the half.

During the third quarter, Florala’s Austin West suffered a sprained ankle, and neither team made it onto the scoreboard.

Soon, Desmond Smiley put Florala back into scoring range when he made a 40 yard punt return, putting the Wildcats on 1st and 10 at the 9 yard line with 9:35 left in the third quarter. Less than a minute later, Smiley scored for the Wildcats; however, the team’s two-point conversion attempt was no good.

While that was a pivotal point in the night’s game, Florala Coach Justin Jones said he wouldn’t do anything differently.

“For the first time in a long time, these kids and this community feel what it’s like to be in the end zone,” Jones said. “I am so proud of our boys. To be this close to a win…here, we are, we almost beat someone we should not have been able to. I’m proud.”