EAGLEVILLE — Eagleville High School dropped its first game of the 2019 season, 28-7, in a region opener against Forrest, whose big-play capabilities proved to be too much.
“I believe our effort was there all night but we just did not execute the little things early,” Eagleville head coach Floyd Walker said. “We had trouble tackling early and we cannot let that happen against good teams.”
Forrest’s first of two big plays came on their second possession with a 49-yard Cole Villazon touchdown. The Rockets extended their first quarter lead out to 14-0 on a 41-yard Max Kirby connection with Micah McClendon.
“We did not fill the holes we need to,” Eagleville senior safety Trevor Griffin said. “They are big and tackling high does not get the job done.”
Forrest played the lead and clock to their advantage, milking the second-quarter clock for eight minutes and 80 yards. Nick McClendon capped the drive off with a score from outside the goal line to head a 21-0 lead at the break.
Forrest matched the same slow, methodical pace in the second half by posting another five-minute drive that ended with no points thanks to the Eagles bend-but don’t-break defense. Eagleville carried the momentum to an early forth-quarter score.
Marcus Collins completed a 63-yard touchdown to sophomore Dylan Pratt to pull within two scores with 10 minutes to play.
“(Collins) has gotten better every game this year,” Walker said of his first-year quarterback. “For never playing at this stage, I am proud of how far he has come and how hard he works.”
The sophomore completed 13 of 23 passes for 123 yards and a score.
“It is definitely a different look this year but (Collins) has the arm to make the throws,” Griffin said after his 42-yard, seven-reception night. “We have other athletes on offense and we are getting better every week.”
Forrest closed out the scoring on Nick McClendon’s second rushing touchdown to cap off a 55-yard drive with six minutes left to play.
Despite the early woes, the Eagles defense held the Rockets to 130 rushing yards in the second half and a late score. Griffin led all Eagles with seven tackles and two pass break-ups.