The Amite County Trojans looked to kick off the 2019 football season with a win Friday night at home against the East Marion Eagles. But the Trojans dropped a hard fought contest to the Eagles by a score of 26-13.
The Trojans started off the game by moving down the field through the air as quarterback Derick Cosby connected with Jacoby Mickel for 35 yards before hitting Javante Bonds for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Kobe Johnson connected on the extra point to give the Trojans a 7-0 first quarter lead.
The Eagles answered a score on the ground as Deundre Ruffin and Latral Waller each broke runs off of 15-plus yards before Waller found the end zone from four yards out.
The Trojans were forced to punt on their next drive and the Eagles continued running the ball with success.
Ruffin and Waller again broke off long runs along with quarterback Devin Daniels. Fullback Justin Bryant finished off the drive with a touchdown from one yard out to give the Eagles a 12-7 second quarter lead.
The Trojans had something going on the next drive but were forced to punt after a 15-yard personal foul had a long run called back.
“Penalties really killed us tonight, we had some in critical times that stopped drives but most of our mistakes are correctable and we will learn from them," Amite County head coach Reginald Lumpkin said.
The Eagles picked up where they left off after the punt and continued to pound the ball down the field with Daniels scoring on a 19-yard run putting the Trojans down 18-7 at the half.
The Amite County defense came out with a different mindset in the second half, determined to stop the run.
Senior defensive lineman Tyrone Green got things started by making a play behind the line for a 10-yard loss, helping to force the Eagles to punt the ball away to the Trojans.
Cosby hit a few short passes to move the chains several times and completed the drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Mickel. The PAT was missed but the Trojans pulled within five at 18-13.
Amite County continued its strong defense all through the third quarter and into the fourth with big plays being made by linebacker Charlie Taplin, safety Dontavious Hughes, defensive end Chance Harrell and senior nose tackle James Smith.
Over the course of the last quarter and a half the two teams swapped punts and penalties before the Trojans had a bad snap on a punt that resulted in a turnover on downs.
The Eagles took over and quickly turned it into a 20-yard touchdown. Waller added the two-point conversion making the score 26-13.
After the game Coach Lumpkin said that despite the loss he was glad to see the kids take their hard work over the summer and display that on the field.
“The kids were excited coming out and it was good to see the fruits of our labor over the summer taking shape," he said. “I was really proud of our second half effort. We stopped them coming out and added a score and fought and stayed in the game.
Green was also pleased with the defense's second half effort.
“We played hard and we fought till the end which is a big improvement from last year, we had a few mistakes on both sides of the ball that can be fixed but in the long run we will be better,” he said.
Cosby led Amite County completing 12-of-21 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Mickel caught three passes for 89 yards and a touchdown while Javante Bonds added two catches for 23 yards and a score.
Zykevious Dangerfield led the Trojans in rushing with four carries for 37 yards.
Defensively Amite County was led by Kobe Johnson’s 10 tackles with nine a piece coming from Charlie Taplin and Jabari Robinson. Chance Harrell added eight tackles while Henry Anderson finished with seven. Green had 6 tackles including three for loss.
The Trojans will return to action at home taking on the Wilkinson County Wildcats Friday at 7 PM.