Eagles top Glenwood with fourth quarter drive

Published 12:49 pm Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fort Dale Academy overcame four turnovers and a late fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Glenwood in the season opener Friday night in Smiths Station.

The Eagles trailed 23-19 after Glenwood returned a fumble 80 yards for the go-ahead score with 6:23 to play.

Fort Dale responded with a 13-play, 65-yard drive to claim its first victory since capturing the AISA Class AAA title last season.

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Scrambling from a blitz on the Gators’ 10 yard line, sophomore quarterback Chip Taylor found Perry Singleton in the right corner of the end zone for the game-winning score. Patrick Russell’s point after put the Eagles on top for good, 26-23.

Taylor was 16-of-23 with 242 yards passing in his first varsity start.

“Chip had a really good game after the first quarter,” said Fort Dale head coach James “Speed” Sampley. “After that he came alive and made some plays with natural ability.”

Senior quarterback Cody Tesmer was 2-of-3 for 29 yards passing and had a key 41-yard run to set up the Eagles’ first touchdown, a 1-yard effort by Matthew Bender in the second quarter.

With inconsistency on offense and special teams, the Fort Dale defense led the way throughout, holding Glenwood to just 151 yards rushing and 92 yards passing.

“Defensively we played about as good as we could have played,” Sampley said.

Linebacker Brandon Matthews and lineman Patten Thompson led the defense with nine tackles each. Chase Whiddon had seven stops for the Eagles.

Ryan Salter led the Fort Dale receivers with five catches for 69 yards, followed by Mason Stinson with three receptions for 49 yards and Caleb Luckie with two receptions for 41 yards.

Singleton rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries for the Eagles.

Sampley praised the play of punter Brandon Brown and Russell, who finished with a 33-yard field goal and was perfect on all three point after attempts.

Fort Dale (1-0) hosts Lee-Scott Friday night in another region matchup.