Debray Bonner rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns leading the Eagles to a 29-12 taming of the Class 2A Santa Gertrudis Academy Lions on a wet, slippery surface at Javelina stadium in Kingsville.
Quarterback Tyler Quesada added 71 yards on the ground and two touchdowns of his own.
“It feels really good to be 3-0,” said a very happy Bonner. “Our line has done a tremendous job. We would not be anywhere without our line. They are the reason we are unbeaten. I follow their blocks and I also workout with my dad so, I can keep going. I am not really fast; I think everybody else is just moving slower.”
Even with a steady rain coming down in Kingsville, it took the Eagles just 46 seconds to get on the scoreboard. Lionel “Train” Brown took the opening kickoff and raced 50 yards to give his team great field position to start the game. Three plays later, Bonner busted up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown run. Bonner also added the two-point conversion to give his team an early 8-0 lead.
Both teams stopped each other on the next possessions with T.J. Garcia and Josh Martinez both recovering fumbles for the Eagles. Midway through the second quarter, the Lions drove into Eagle territory and had a first goal from the two-yard line. The “mean green wrecking machine” made the Lions earn their first score as it took four plays to score from the Eagle two. A two-point try was stopped and the first half ended with the Eagles leading 8-6.
The wet field caused Quesada to slip as he attempted the second half kickoff giving the Lions a first down at the Eagle 40 to start the second half. The Lions took advantage and scored to take a 12-8 lead with 10:41 left in the third quarter.
The Lions lead would be short lived. On the Eagles very next possession, Bonner broke a couple of tackles and out-raced everyone for a 63-yard touchdown run. Garcia kicked the extra point to give the Eagles a 15-12 lead.
The Lions drove again but, Brown stopped a drive when he made a beautiful diving interception to give his team the ball back.
The Eagles took over near midfield and faced a fourth and four.Coach Wade Miller rolled the dice and called for a fake punt that was executed brilliantly as Brown gained 12 yards on the fake to keep the Eagle drive going.
Quesada busted loose for a 23-yard run to give the Eagles a first goal inside the Lion five. Two plays later, a pass play to Brown turned into a controversial fumble call that did not go the Eagles way.
Brown appeared to be down but, the whistle was never blown and a Lion defender picked up the ball and took it back deep into Eagle territory.
“We have had a great all around team effort,” said Brown. “We want to get back into the playoffs and go all the way. We do not hang our heads anymore just because we fall behind. We have a lot of heart and faith in each other. We will enjoy this win and then start working on being 4-0.”
With 9:53 left in the game, the Eagles pinned the Lions deep in their own territory on a long punt by Brown who had three great punts on the night.
The Eagle defense stepped up again and sacked the Lion runner in the end zone for a safety and a 17-12 lead. The Eagles took the ensuing kick and drove for another score as Quesada ran 11 yards around the right side and bulled his way past two Lion defenders for a touchdown. The two-point try was stopped and the Eagles now led 23-12.
The Lions faced a fourth and long from their own one-yard line and were stopped again by the Eagle defense. Quesada snuck in for his second score of the night and the extra point kick was wide right. The Eagles ended the game by running out the clock.
“This was another great win for us,” said Coach Miller. “From what I have heard, we have not been 3-0 since 1985. We are getting better with each game and we will enjoy this one tonight and get ready for Kenedy starting Monday.
“Kenedy is a good football team and they are undefeated as well. This will definitely be our toughest challenge yet. Thanks to all of our fans that braved the wet and windy weather tonight to come out and support us. We hope we can continue to count on y’all to be there for us.”
The Eagles will travel to Kenedy to take on the Lions this Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.