East Prairie Coach Chad Jamerson will be the first to admit the Eagles escaped William Wilthong Field Friday night ~ but ~ he will also quickly add they did so with A ‘W’.
“Yeah, we struggled a bit (Friday night),” said Jamerson, “our depth was a big help to us. When (Scott City) took 8 minutes off the clock in the first quarter it was crucial for us to have fresh players ready and able to step up.”
While the Rams Game-Planned speedsters Deverance Jones, Derez Tipler and Jon Ross Slayden out – they didn’t account for the savvy veteran senior quarterback Brett Ellis who took the challenge and led the Eagles to victory.
Ellis rushed (unofficially) for 172 yards on 16 carries; he also scored the eventual game winner on the Eagles first play in OT ~ A 25-yard scamper. Ellis was 13 of 21 in the air for 155 yards with one INT and two TD’s (26 yards to Luke Marcum; 28 yard pass to Jones).
“It took us a minute to stand up; take the punch and roll with it ~ but we did.”
And, panic they did not.
While the mood of the Large Eagle Fan base was uncertain of the outcome, Jamerson and the Eagles were ready.
“I got a sense from the kids; the older guys on the team…Coach, Don’t worry, we got this. They showed the confidence we wanted.”
This after three consecutive turnovers in the 3rd quarter allowed Scott City to take the lead 34-28 at the end of the period.
“We had to adjust our game plan and game calling and Brett just put it on his shoulders. We are a very unselfish team. Each week, it’s time for somebody else to stand up. (Deverance) Jones; Derez (Tipler) and Jon Ross (Slayden) carried us in the first two games.”
In the Game at Scott City ~ it was the defense in the end that ultimately spelled victory for the Eagles.
Scott City was at the doorstep with time running out and a chance to end the game in regulation but the Eagles stood firm as the time expired.
“JB Hedge and Mason Tidwell,” said Jamerson when asked how the Eagles kept the Rams out of the end zone. “And, in looking at the film, Jon Ross came in like a Rocket on that final play.”
“The Football Gods smiled upon us at the end of the Game.”
Attention now turns to Hayti when the Eagles get the chance to Host A Game at the Eagles Nest for the first time this season. Jamerson hopes ~ and rightfully expects ~ a huge turnout for the game.
“We want A Packed House that’s hungry for A Win. I can’t tell you when the last time (Ep) has been 4-0. We want that, too. We want to put ourselves in the conversation as one of the better teams in SEMO.
“We want to give the crowd their money’s worth.”
Commenting on the throng of #EpEagles Fans who made the trek to Scott City, “In our mindset in East Prairie, there is only one thing to do on Friday night. That’s Football. That’s what it was made for.”
“There are a million things to do in Scott City on a Friday night being so close to Cape and all, in Ep, we have one thing in mind on Friday’s ~ and that is A Football Game.”
“We want everyone to wear Red and Black and pack the stands. We want to give our Fans something to cheer about and that Red and Black thing is a bit intimidating.”
The Indians will not be moved by the crowd. The tough Hayti program has been a sleeping giant in recent seasons but with a NFL player (William Moore) to its credit, the program has been solid for decades beginning with Kent Gibbs at the helm and an appearance in the 1986 state title game.
Hayti also is the home to legendary SEMO Sports Historian Al Jackson.
“Hayti is a tough; fast physical team. We’ll get two of them in successive weeks with Malden to follow. Quite frankly, that’s what we wish for ~ the competition. Gives us a better opportunity to be successful against two quality football programs.”
Jamerson’s wish is for the Eagles to be mentioned when folk’s in SEMO talk about small-school football programs.
The Eagles keep winning and he just may get his Wish.
Hayti V East Prairie ~ Game Time 7 pm at The #EaglesNest