Middle Tennessee Christian quarterback Justin Winn and his fellow seniors played out their final regular-season game at Throneberry Stadium in style, jumping on Eagleville with 22 consecutive points in the first half of Friday’s District 9-A win.
Winn threw for three touchdowns in the opening half to lead MTCS to a 22-9 victory, preserving a perfect record (8-0, 4-0 9-A) as it approaches crucial road district games at Forrest and Huntland to close the regular season.
Junior receiver Trey Hickey was on the receiving end of two of Winn’s touchdown throws, including a 66-yard connection to score the game’s first points late in the first quarter.
“We had that worked out in practice,” Hickey said, recalling the long touchdown catch. “We knew when they were in the Cover 2 that they were going to crash on our bubble (screen), and so I came up real quick and Justin Winn hit me, and when I saw that safety coming a little too hard, I just cut in front of him.”
Related: Scores from around the state
With that safety in his rearview mirror, Hickey was off to the races.
He hauled in his second touchdown pass of the game, an 8-yard score in the second quarter, when Eagleville failed to cover him.
“It was the easiest touchdown catch I’ve ever had, but also the most nervous,” he said. “You just can’t drop that one.”
Trailing 22-0, Eagleville’s A.J. Garza returned the second half’s opening kickoff 63 yards, setting the Eagles (4-4, 1-3 9-A) up for a prime scoring opportunity.
But MTCS held and stopped a fake field-goal attempt from inside the 5 on fourth-and-goal.
A turnover by MTCS on its ensuing drive gave Eagleville another opportunity deep in MTCS territory, which resulted in a 23-yard field goal by Will Vermillion.
“We had to get a touchdown there,” Eagleville coach Steve Carson said. “But that’s them playing good defense. They’ve got a good football team, and when you spot a good football team 22 points, it is tough to win.”
Eagleville trimmed the deficit to 22-9 with less than nine minutes to play, as quarterback Garza fumbled near the goal line, but the Eagles recovered the ball in the end zone.