JV Eagles top Patriots

Published 8:44 pm Friday, September 16, 2011

A prolific offensive ground game and a stingy defense proved to be the keys as Fort Dale Academy topped Pike Liberal Arts School 34-14 Tuesday night in Greenville in a junior varsity showdown.

After stopping Pike Liberal on its first offensive series, the Eagles took over the ball on their own 38-yard line.  Eight plays later Fort Dale scored its first touchdown when quarterback Daniel Hall Autrey connected with Caleb Whigham for a 15-yard score. The point after attempt failed and the Eagles led 6-0.

The Eagles’ defense stuffed Pike again and the FDA offense started its second possession with a first down at the midfield stripe.  On the very first play, Autrey sliced through the Patriot defenders on his way to a 50-yard sprint for the touchdown. Taylor Thomas converted the two-point try and the Eagles appeared poised for a route.

At that point, however, the Pike Liberal offense came to life, and drove for a touchdown and two point conversion just before the half ended, tightening the score at 14-8.

Following the Patriots’ kickoff to begin the second half, the Eagles took over at their own 40-yard line. On first down Autrey passed to Austin Vickery for a 7-yard gain to the 47-yard line. On the very next play Autrey was up to his old tricks and outran the Patriot defenders on a 53-yard gallop. Autrey ran for the two point conversion and the Eagles commanded a 22-8 lead. Pike Liberal would not go away easily as quarterback Drew Starling connected with receiver Rush Hixon for a touchdown and Pike Liberal was back in the game, trailing only 22-14.

But the Eagles (2-1) had other plans. Autrey broke free on a 45-yard scamper and then connected with Austin Vickery for a 15-yard toss for a touchdown to give the Eagles a comfortable lead.

Following a big, mobile front line, Autrey led all rushers with 260 yards on 17 attempts and scored three times.  Whigham and Thomas added 31 and 26 yards, respectively, as the Eagles rushed for 318 yards.  Autrey also completed 5-of-9 passes for an additional 59 yards and two touchdowns. Vickery was the night’s top receiver for the Eagles with three catches and one touchdown and Whigham grabbed two passes one of which was a touchdown.

Vickery, Whigham, Avery Shipp, Reid Crosby, Kenny Hardin, and Tyler Gibson led the solid defensive effort.

FDA will host Hooper Tuesday at 7 p.m.