The Eagles improved to a perfect 9-0 in their all-time series with county rival Houston Co. with a tough 26-14 victory Friday night in the season opener for both teams. Senior Jacobi Rodriguez’s debut as a receiver (after 3 years as a QB) was a smashing success. Jacobi pulled in 7 passes for 144 yards including a 46 yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard early in the first quarter. After the defense forced the Bears to punt on the opening possession of the game, junior Brandon Jordan exploded through the left side of the line and raced 31 yards for a touchdown on the Eagles’ 2nd offensive play from scrimmage. Freshman Devon Pike split the uprights on his first career PAT attempt to put the Eagles up 7-0 with only 1:42 off the first quarter clock.
With 9:55 left in the second quarter, the Bears drew back even with the Eagles when Martez King connected with tight end Ben Collins for a 46 yard touchdown. The PAT evened the score at 7-7. The Eagles retook the lead a little over 5 minutes later when Devon Pike’s first career field goal attempt was good from 27 yards out, and the Eagles led 10-7. The Eagles went into halftime with a 16-7 lead after senior workhorse LB/FB Deonta Jordan busted through the Bear goal line defense from 2 yards out for a touchdown. The PAT was no good.
Rodriguez gave the Eagles good starting field position to open the second half with a 30 yard kickoff return, but Northside was unable to capitalize as they fumbled the ball back to the Bears. The Eagle defense kept the Bears off the scoreboard and the offense took back over near midfield. Junior QB Marquez Ivory then dropped back to pass and hit Rodriquez in stride with a beautiful 46 yard touchdown pass. Pike added the PAT and the score now stood at 23-7 with 4:08 in the third quarter clock. Ivory had an outstanding second half throwing the ball as he connected on 5 of 7 attempts for 110 yards.
Northside’s Pike kicked a 30 yard FG with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up 26-7. The Bears put together a 80 yard drive in the final minutes of the game which ended with a 43 yard deflected touchdown pass from King to Craig Pressley. The PAT ended the scoring for the night at 26-14. The Bears attempted an onside kick, but Northside senior defensive back Charles McKenzie snared the bouncing kick and broke to the outside and raced 25 yards before finally being brought down. The Eagles then ran out the clock and the student section of the stands emptied onto the field to begin the celebration of the Eagles first victory of 2006 and their 9th straight win against the Bears.
The intensity for this big intra-county encounter now immediately carries over into next week as the Eagles start preparations for long-time cross-town rival Warner Robins Demons. That’s right – it’s Demon Week in September!