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Scrappy Eagles come up short of Samson

D.J. Veasey drives the ball down close.

D.J. Veasey drives the ball down close.

After falling behind early, the Pleasant Home Eagles didn’t show any quit, but ultimately fell to the Samson Tigers 40-21 Friday night in Pleasant Home.

Samson got the ball to start the game and J.T. Wise picked up a first down after a pair of 5-yard runs, but that was all the Tigers could manage on their first drive.

Hunter Ward came up with a big hit on Wise to drop the Tigers’ quarterback for a 2-yard loss.

Pressure from the Eagles forced an errant pass on second down, and Rico Bovino broke up a pass that forced a fourth down. The Tigers went for it on fourth down and the Eagles’ defense held for the turnover on downs.

The Eagles took over and began to methodically move the ball down the field behind powerful runs from D.J. Veasey and Reid Adams.

Pleasant Home drove the ball down inside the 10-yard line, but the drive stalled out there and the Eagles turned the ball over after failing to convert on the fourth down.

Samson responded by drive 89 yards on 10 plays with Wise connecting with Grant Simmons for a 7-yard touchdown to cap off the drive. Samson added a two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead with 11:28 left in the second quarter.

Pleasant Home took over on their own 20-yard line, and Adams picked up 13 yards on the first play for an Eagles’ first down.

The Eagles picked up two more first downs on the drive, but stalled out and turned the ball over on downs.

Samson’s next drive didn’t last very long, as Hunter Price picked off a pass from Wise to give the Eagles the ball back.

However, four players later the Eagles turned the ball back over on downs.

Four plays into Samson’s next drive, Wise connected with Diesel Barlow, who then went 53 yards for a touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion, the Tigers were on top 16-0 with 3:07 left in the first half.

After forcing a punt from the Eagles, the Tigers added another score before the end of the first half on a 47-yard touchdown run. Another two-point conversion gave Samson a 24-0 lead.

Both teams traded fumbles to start the third quarter before the Tigers added a touchdown on a 68-yard run from Wise. After the two-point conversion, Samson held a 32-0 lead.

Samson added another score after forcing an interception from the Eagles, and held a 40-0 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Eagles picked up great field position when the Tigers muffed a punt return, and Pleasant Home took over on the Tigers’ 49-yard line.

A 33-yard run Veasey put the Eagles inside the 5-yard line, and Adams capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run a play later. Mason Kelley’s extra point was good, and the Eagles trailed 40-7.

After another fumble from the Tigers, the Eagles took back over inside Tiger territory and Adams found the end zone from 5 yards out for the score. Kelley’s extra point split the uprights and the Eagles trailed 40-14 with 1:53 left in the game.

For the third straight drive, the Eagles forced a fumble and took over possession inside Samson territory.

Bovino picked up 22 yards on run down the 3-yard line where Josh Ruth capped off the drive with a touchdown. Kelley’s kick was again good, and the Eagles were down 40-21 with just six ticks left on the clock.

“I’ve got to go back and figure out what we have to do to get better, and that starts with me,” Eagles head coach Chris Mason said. “We have gotten better the past two year, but it just hasn’t shown on the scoreboard yet. We have the talent and the tools to be a good team. These guys are going to get it figured out and it is going to be a fun ride with them. That all starts next week with workouts.”