TYLERTOWN — Getting a win against Tylertown has been something that has plagued the South Pike Eagles in recent memory. For 11 years the Eagles have not been able to get the better of the Chiefs on the gridiron.
But that all changed Friday night as South Pike stayed red-hot, shutting down a quality Tylertown bunch before walking away with a 30-9 victory.
With most of this year’s hype centered around the Eagles explosive offensive and the highly recruited players Dontavious Turner and Alex Adams, the defense has soared under the radar. Allowing a total of only 29 points over 5 games, the Eagle defense has proven to be just as dominant as their high powered offense.
The Eagle defense displayed this dominance early vs the Chiefs as the Tylertown offense found trouble gaining any traction in the first quarter.
However, a Kadarius Jackson fumble stalled the Eagles first drive of the night , shifting the momentum to the Chiefs.
The defense answered the call forcing a punt after a 3-and-out. On the next possession, momentum shifted again following another Jackson fumble. The Chiefs were able to find moderate success on the ensuing drive pushing the ball to the Eagle six yard-line.
But the Eagle defense answered the call again forcing Tylertown to kick a field goal giving the game its first score with 8:00 to go in the second and South Pike found its self trailing for the first time this year 3-0.
South Pike's offense answered quickly as Turner transformed a broken pass play into a 52-yard touchdown run.
Angus Armstrong rushed in the two point conversion giving the Eagles an 8-3 advantage.
Defense was the name of the game for South Pike on the next drive as it stepped up again. Kadarius Miller recovered a fumble on the Eagle 37 yard-line.
South Pike capitalized on this miscue scoring a touchdown on a 1 yard run by junior back Christoper Royal. Armstrong added the 2-point conversion putting The Eagles up 16-3 going into the half.
“The defense did a great of job in the first half,” South Pike head Coach Brinson Wall said. “We could of easily been a couple touchdowns behind."
South Pike carried this momentum into the second half as Turner closed out the Eagle’s first possession with a 15-yard touchdown run to increasing the lead to 22-3.
Another Tylertown mistake on offense proved to be costly. South Pike's Jermicheal Dillion recovered a Chiefs fumble at the 50 yardline with six minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Tylertown defense rose to the occasion halting the Eagle offense , forcing a turnover on downs after four plays.
Shortly after, Miller picked up his second fumble recovery of the night swinging the momentum back into the Eagles' favor.
South Pike senior safety Felix Varnado gave the Eagles their 4th takeaway of the night intercepting a Tylertown pass to begin the final quarter.
The Eagles closed out their scoring on the next posession with a 10-yard burst by Cameron Reynolds. Royal added the 2 point conversion with a rush putting the Eagles up 30-3.
“They beat us all four quarters, they were just a better team tonight," explained Chief’s coach Osborne Holmes.
South Pike’s Brennan Felder lead the way for the Eagles defense with twelve tackles. “No matter what you ask him to do, he does it with out question,” South Pike defensive backs coach Luther McCray said.
Offensively The Eagles were paced by Dontavious Turner who had 111 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns.
Brandon Johnson added 66 yards on 7 carries with a touchdown. Cam Reynolds accounted for 31 yards rushing and a touchdown as well for the Eagles.
South Pike will host Wilkinson County for homecoming next week.
Tylertown has a home game vs Franklin County.