The red-hot start for the South Pike Eagles continued Friday with a 42-0 decision over the Kentwood Kangaroos. It was the Eagles' third-consecutive road win to start the year.
The Eagles (3-0) known for their explosive passing game, relied heavenly on their offensive line and depth to over power the undersized and out-numbered Kangaroos.
The end results was 414 rushing yards on 48 carries and six rushing touchdowns for the Eagle offense.
“That was the game plan coming in," Eagle head coach Brinson Wall said. "We felt like they (Kentwood) had a lot of guys playing both ways, and we wanted to make those guys play. They had super athletes on the back end, and we didn’t want to make mistakes early. We wanted to stick the running game and hopefully by the third or fourth quarter we could wear those guys down and pull away with the win."
Early in the contest neither team could gain any traction offensively because of offensive miscues and penalties. Kentwood used a little trickery midway through the first quarter to try and jumpstart their offense.
Senior Quarterback Otis Elzy threw a lateral pass to senior wide out Cornelious Dyson, who then threw a bomb to junior wide out Jerryon Nichols down the left sideline to the Eagle 22. This momentum would be short lived as a botched snap and two sacks would force Kentwood to punt.
The Eagles gained momentum in the second quarter when junior running back Brandon Johnson found a hole in the Kentwood defense and sprinted up the middle for a 24 yard touchdown. It was South Pike's first score of the night with eight minutes left in the first half.
The surge continued after Kentwood turned the ball over on downs. South Pike marched from its 22 yard line all the way to the Kentwood 10 before quarterback Dontavious Turner sprinted up the middle for a touchdown making the score 14-0 right before the half.
The Eagles started the second half out strong on defense as senior safety Felix Varnado intercepted Elzy on the Kangaroo 35-yard line and returned to the 18 before being tackled.
“They were throwing slants and my job is to stay in the alley," Varnado said. "They threw the slant, I stayed in the alley, the receiver misjudged the ball and I caught it."
Following the turnover, South Pike capitalize immediately. Senior running back Kadrius Jackson burst through the middle for a 16yard gain before being stopped at the two yard line.
Turner then scored again on the next play putting the Eagles up 20-0.
After a stalled drive by the Kangaroos, the Eagles then featured wide out Alex Adams on their next possession. Alex lined up at quarterback and carried the ball four-straight times, capping-off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.
He added the two-point conversion putting South Pike ahead 28-0 midway through the third quarter.
The Eagles closed out the quarter with another score when junior running back Cameron Reynolds scampered in from 35 yards out putting Eagles ahead, 35-0.
Sophomore back Derrick Mcneil provided the only score of the fourth quarter when he sprinted down the right sideline on a run and into the end zone pushing the Eagles ahead 42-0.
The atmosphere was electric for the game underneath the tank and both coaches were impressed by the crowd turn out for the game. The lines began to wrap around the football field and out into adjacent streets around 5:30 p.m. proving that both school’s fan basses were anxious to see the highly-anticipated matchup between the two schools who are only 15 minutes apart from each other.
“I thought it was a great atmosphere with the huge crowd," Wall said. "I thought the fans were really energetic early and both teams were caught up in it.
Kentwoods head coach Jonathan Foster also spoke highly of the atmosphere of the game stating that.
“You can’t beat it with a bat man. It was perfect," he said. "This was Week 1 for us , and we came out injury free. We had a lot of kids cramping but we gone take care of that. Hats off to South Pike , that’s a great team. Hopefully they win State this year."
The Eagles will try to continue their early season success Friday when they host the Amite County Trojans, in their home opener. Kentwood will travel to Sumner.
Dontavious Turner led the eagles with 15 carries, 108 yards and two touchdowns. Kadarius Jackson pitched in with 13 carries for 73 yards.