Turnovers sink JV Eagles

Published 2:00 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

TROY – A pair of turnovers and a sluggish third quarter proved too much for Fort Dale Academy to overcome as the Eagles fell to Pike Liberal Arts School 21-14 Sept. 5 in Troy in a junior varsity showdown.

It was the second loss in as many weeks for the Eagles.

The Patriots got on the scoreboard first after Fort Dale mishandled a punt. The Patriots pounced on the ball at the Fort Dale 1-yard line and scored on the next play. After the point after kick, Pike Liberal led 7-0.

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Fort Dale captured the lead when Daniel Hall Autrey scored on a 25-yard sacamper. A two-point conversion run by Autrey boosted the Eagles to an 8-7 lead, which held up until halftime.

But a second Fort Dale turnover, this time on the opening kick of the second half, helped the Patriots regain the lead. The Patriots took control of the ball at the Eagles’ 30-yard line and methodically drove in for the go-ahead score. The point after kick was good and the Patriots led 14-8.

The Pike defense hobbled the Eagles’ offense during the third quarter and scored another touchdown following a sustained drive mid-way through the final quarter taking a commanding 21-8 lead. Lifeless through much of the third quarter, the Fort Dale offense gained new life.  With the big, mobile Fort Dale offensive line opening huge gaps in the Pike defensive front, Autrey, Taylor Thomas, and Caleb Whigham took advantage of the situation. A Fort Dale drive ended with a 50-yard touchdown run by Autrey.  The Eagles missed the two-point conversion and trailed by only a touchdown, 21-14.

Following the Fort Dale kickoff, the Eagle defense stiffened and stuffed the Pike Liberal offense, forcing the Patriots to punt.  Again, the Fort Dale offense moved the ball and appeared to come within one point of the Patriots when Autrey sped 55 yards to pay dirt.  However, the play was nullified by a holding penalty. Several desperation passes fell incomplete and the Eagles eventually turned the ball over on downs. Pike Liberal’s offense ran out the game clock to seal the win.

Autrey paced Fort Dale’s offensive attack with 137 yards rushing on 15. Thomas added 28 yards to the rushing total.

Autrey was 5-of-10 passing for 30 yards.

Whigham, Tyler Gibson and Dalton Hood led the Eagles in tackles. John Chambliss, Austin Vickery, and Reid Crosby also turned in solid performances.

Fort Dale (0-2) will square off with Pike Liberal Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Greenville.