Chris Hale provided all the offense Eagleville needed, and the defense did the rest.
Hale, a senior running back, had 164 rushing yards on 18 carries, and a touchdown reception. Eagleville’s defense had four sacks and two interceptions as it defeated host Mt. Pleasant 17-8 in their season opener.
The Eagles limited Mt. Pleasant’s offense to just 56 yards and two first downs through the first three quarters. Mt. Pleasant scored its only touchdown and had 73 yards in the fourth quarter against many Eagleville second-string players.
“They (Mt. Pleasant) have a very athletic football team, and I was very worried coming in about their athleticism,” said Eagleville coach Steve Carson. “Coach Pip (Kent Pippenger) and the rest of the staff did an outstanding job preparing them. We’ve been preparing for these guys for two weeks now, and at the end of the day, the kids came out and played hard and with great hustle.
“When 65 guys decide to come together as a team, it proves that great things can happen. They did tonight.”
Hale got the Eagles going toward their first touchdown on their second possession. Hale had a 55-yard run to set the Eagles up at the 4-yard line with first-and goal. Thomas Carter ran into the end zone for the touchdown.
“We’re going to have to do that right now,” Carson said. “We’re not necessarily young at receiver, we’re inexperienced at receiver. But they’re going to come on. Chris is a good back, and we’ve got to give him the ball.”
The score remained 7-0 through the first half. Mt. Pleasant only managed two first downs. Mt. Pleasant quarterback Walter Crawford was sacked twice in the first half and managed only two pass completions for 17 yards through the first two quarters.
Hale scored on a screen pass in the third quarter to give Eagleville a commanding 14-0 lead.
“I’m just doing whatever the coaches ask me,” Hale said. “I’m not trying to be the star, I’m just doing what I can do to help my team win.”
The Eagles scored again on their next possession after their second interception, setting them up in excellent field position.
Luke Duross capitalized, kicking a 31-yard field goal to give Eagleville a 17-0 lead.
The lone Mt. Pleasant touchdown came with 2:36 remaining. Crawford threw a deep pass to Ken’yores Smith, and he caught it in the end zone, a 34-yard scoring play.
Three Mt. Pleasant linemen did not play due to illnesses in the loss.