Eagles dominate Knights

Published 12:36 am Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Fort Dale Eagles used over 300 yards of offense and a stifling defense to claim a 28-0 win over Macon-East last night.

“We played better tonight offensively than we have in a while,” said head coach Speed Sampley. “Overall, I’m pleased with the way we played all around.”

It was Fort Dale’s defense that made the first big play of the night.

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With 4:56 left in the first quarter, Jeffrey Stead stepped in front of a Macon-East pass, intercepted it, and returned it 19 yards to the Knights’ 44-yard line.

A few plays later, he broke a 37-yard run to the four-yard line.

Fellow running back Daniel Nolan punched it in from four yards out to put the Eagles up 7-0.

Not long afterwards, both teams got a case of fumbleitis.

A fumble by Macon-East set up second and 29 yards to go from their own four-yard line, and then Nathan Reaves recovered a fumble on the Knights’ nine-yard line.

On the very first play, Fort Dale fumbled and Macon-East recovered.

Fortunately for the Eagles, the defense would come up big again.

Matt Causey had an interception on a deflected screen pass to put FDA in business at the Macon-East 15-yard line.

However, the drive stalled and Sean McKeague kicked a 25-yard field goal.

As the first half was winding down, the Eagles drove down the field on the legs of Stead and Nolan, but once again, the drive was halted at the Knights’ eight-yard line.

Again, McKeague connected on a 25-yard field goal to put FDA ahead 13-0.

Not long after the third quarter began, Hunter Armstrong faked a handoff and then threw a pass down the right sideline to a wide-open Dustin Till, who walked into the endzone.

Todd Burkett added the two-point conversion, and FDA led 21-0.

The final score of the game for Fort Dale came on another pass play when Till connected with Luke Hutcheson for a 26-yard score.

“Our offense played well, but we squandered some opportunities in the first half, like when we fumbled the ball after recovering Macon’s fumble inside the 10,” Sampley said. “We’ve got to punch it in, but on the other hand, we have the luxury of a field goal kicker. If we can get inside the 25, we’re pretty much going to score.”

Defensively, the Eagles locked down the Knights.

Macon-East was able to make a few drives into Fort Dale territory, but each time, FDA came up with either a turnover or a stop on fourth down.

“They had a few big plays on offense, but nothing sustained,” Sampley said. “We’ve got to work on our kickoff coverage because we’re giving up too much field position, but we had some good punting and coverage.”

Brantley McKeown went down in the last minute of the game with an ankle injury, and Sampley said that’s a concern.

“We hope it’s just an ankle sprain and nothing’s broken, but we’ll have to wait and see,” he said.

Stead finished the night with 18 rushes for 121 yards, while the defense was led by Matt Causey and Daniel Lowe.

Causey had 17 tackles and an interception, and Lowe recorded 18 tackles.