MT. PLEASANT — Overcoming the elements and a slow start, Mt. Pleasant scored 17 fourth-quarter points Friday night and dealt visiting Eagleville a 24-6 defeat.
Rainy conditions contributed to the Tigers' early struggles, as they engineered a 17-play drive on the first possession that fizzled on a bad snap in the red zone. Eagleville answered with a 92-yard march, capped by Trevor Griffin's 39-yard pass to Payton Lane for a 6-0 second-period lead.
"We had a freshman in there (at center)," Mt. Pleasant coach Bronson Bradley said, referring to Jordan Tucker, who filled in for Joelton Nutt. "It was just a bad snap.
"But we didn't lose our mind. We stayed in the game plan. Just like we told them in halftime, we're sticking with the game plan. We're gonna run it at them, and we're a second-half football team."
Mt. Pleasant (6-3) went ahead midway through the third quarter on Hayden Lovely's 2-yard touchdown run and the ensuing Jackson Collier extra point. Collier added a 34-yard field goal 90 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it a 10-6 game.
The Tigers continued to pound the rock down the stretch, extending the lead to 17-6 on an A.J. Busby 12-yard run with five minutes to play. With just under two minutes remaining, Griffin fumbled with Jerimiah Dobbins recovering for a 75-yard scoop-and-score.
Busby finished with a game-high 117 rushing yards on 18 carries, with Keshawn Hudson adding 84 yards on seven rushes.
"It's a physical game. You've got to show out," Busby said. "You show up, you hit 'em in the mouth. It shows that when you come out and be physical, the physical team wins."
Veteran Eagleville coach Floyd Walker was complimentary after his team slipped to 6-3 with the loss.
"The thing about it is you tip your cap to Mt. Pleasant," he said. "They came in with a great game plan. They imposed their will on us physically up front and wanted to run the football, and they got that exactly done. And the scoreboard indicates that. So, you can't say anything but great job by Mt. Pleasant. That's about all you can say about it."
Eagleville was again without starting quarterback Marcus Collins. Trevor Griffin filled in and rushed for 71 yards and also added 67 on the ground. Logan McKee also rushed for 66 yards.
The Eagles play host to Loretto Friday with a playoff bid on the line.