In one of the heavier-weight matchups of Sunday’s doubleheaders, the EAGLES took down the SAINTS, 18-6 to move to 4-0 on the season and put a stranglehold on the seven-to-nine division crown prior to the playoffs.
The EAGLES romped to three wins in their first three tries on the strength of a lockdown defense that pitched two consecutive shutouts to open the season—a big advantage in a shortened game. Initially, it appeared the SAINTS had found the right combination to unlock that defense; after an incompletion on their first play, the SAINTS flew down the field with big pass after big pass, culminating with a The EAGLES’ defense, though, promptly tightened its talons, holding the SAINTS scoreless for the rest of the game and opening the door for yet another blowout.
One problem: somebody forgot to tell the SAINTS, whose defense nearly went blow-for-blow with the EAGLES’. The SAINTS swarmed receivers, making every catch difficult and quickly closing on completions. Almost all of the EAGLES’ offense on the day came through big plays: Elijah took a handoff from his own endzone and sliced through the SAINTS’ D for a score to tie the game at six; and just before halftime, Cannon lofted a dime over the top to Teaghan, who found a leak in the defense and took full advantage. Another long touchdown by Elijah in the second half put the EAGLES up 12, and their defense held firm the rest of the way to secure the win.
After the game, EAGLES’ coach Lawrence Thompson told me he was pleased with his team’s ability to grind out a victory when their offense wasn’t flying quite as high as they’re accustomed to. He credited the triumvirate of Elijah, Caleb, and Cannon with setting the tone on defense and keeping the offense from simply spinning its wheels. Coach Lawrence also made a point to shout out Kanaan, who he said has likely made the biggest strides since the beginning of the season.