Light rain for most of the game kept things soggy at James V. Beauchamp Stadium, but it couldn’t dampen the spirits of a full house of fans for the Pettus Eagles’ first home game of the season.
The Lions drew first blood two and a half minutes into the game on a three-yard TD run by Lion QB Rhett Bell. However, it didn’t come easy. The Eagles defense was on a mission with great defensive plays by senior Joe Jefferson and junior James Constante.
With Andrew Parker assuming quarterbacking duties for the injured Ryan Beck, Parker guided the Eagles to within scoring range. With 2:46 left in the first quarter, Parker lobbed an 18-yard pass that seemed to have a longer hang time than most punts. The ball fell into the waiting arms of Hunter Tomlin in the end zone for the Eagles’ first score of the night. Parker then booted the extra point to tie the game, 7-7.
The second quarter was all defense as both teams kept the ball between both 30-yard line markers for nearly the whole quarter.
Turnovers were abundant with both teams committing two each in the period. The Pettus defense became nearly impenetrable, allowing only five yards on the ground by the Lion offense.
James Constante, Joe Jefferson and Nathan Arrisola picked apart the Lion passing attack with spectacular plays against the Kenedy quarterback and receivers.
The Pettus offense finally found a weakness late in the quarter as Torres found a seam and rambled 28 yards for an Eagle score with 1:53 left in the first half. Parker kicked the point after to give the Eagles the lead 14-7.
The second half started out promising for the Eagle offense as they moved the ball 57 yards and ended their first series of the half with Parker booting a field goal from 22 yards out to make the score 17-7.
But the Lions answered immediately on their next offensive series with a 60-yard TD reception. The extra point was successful, bringing the score to 17-14 with 6:08 left in the third quarter.
Kenedy capitalized on an Eagle fumble and scored again two minutes later with a TD reception from 14 yards out to give the Lions the lead. That was a lead that they would not relinquish.
The Lions scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the final 33-17.
The Pettus offense made a strong effort to return to the end zone late in the game but to no avail.
“Turnovers hurt us,” head coach Steve Marbach said. “But we’ll bounce back.”
Parker completed nine of 19 passes for 130 yards on the night and rushed for another 112.
The Eagle “Play of the Game” was Joe Jefferson’s 39-yard interception return in the second quarter.
The Three Rivers Bulldogs pay a visit to Pettus on Friday night. The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in James V. Beauchamp Stadium.