The Hebron Christian Eagles found themselves ending their road game stretch with a visit to Billy D. Cook Field on the campus of Calhoun Academy.
This was a battle of undefeated teams Friday night, and only one team could leave on the night with a perfect record. Hebron and Calhoun both left everything on the field in a very hard fought battle. Unfortunately, the ball bounced the Cougars favor more times than for the Eagles. Though the score does not reflect the true game, Calhoun Academy were the 40-12 victors on the night.
â€śWe just met a team that was better than us tonight,â€ť said Coach David Foster, â€śBut we just stalled some and they just had the more explosive plays than we did.â€ť
There was a capacity crowd and standing room only for most of the fans at Billy D. Cook Field. The tension before kickoff could be cut with a knife as both teams were excited to take on their opponent. Calhoun Academy deferred to the second half, so Hebron received the kickoff. On the first drive of the game, the Eagles used 11 plays and ate a lot of game clock. The drive was capped by a one yard Cogginsâ€™ touchdown rush; the ensuing two point conversion was no good. The Eagles led Calhoun 6-0 with 5:37 left in the first quarter. Hebronâ€™s defense took control in their next series, as Calhoun had to punt the ball away after only possessing it for one minute. After starting on their own 41, Hebron also had to punt the ball away too leaving the first quarter in the Eagles favor at 6-0.
The second quarter saw a major shift in momentum from Hebronâ€™s favor to Calhounâ€™s favor. The Cougars took an eight play drive capping it with a 20 yard touchdown run. The following extra point was good and with 6:42 left in the half, Calhoun led Hebron 7-6. Both defenses stepped up and made two three and outs. Hebron then received the ball with 3:37 left in the first half on their own 29. The Eagles offense strung together many positive plays to place them in good field position. But misfortune struck as Rogers threw an interception deep in Calhoun territory which was returned back into Hebron territory. Calhoun with possession inside the Eaglesâ€™ territory pushed into the end zone with 17 seconds in the half. The ensuing PAT was good and ending the half Calhoun Academy led 14-6.
Having kicked off the first half, the Cougars received the ball first in the second half. And it was not long before Calhoun found themselves in the end zone again. A fifteen yard touchdown pass along with the PAT, extended the Cougar lead to 21-6 with 7:15 left in the third quarter. On the kickoff, Rogers found space and took the return to Calhounâ€™s 42. But the offense for Hebron Christian could not get the ball moving and the story was similar for Calhoun at the end of third quarter.
The fourth quarter saw more one way traffic in favor of the Cougars. A thirty yard touchdown pass gave Calhoun a 27-6 lead with about five minutes to go. Hebron finally found the end zone again as Rogers ran in from 7 yards out, the two point conversion was no good shortening the lead of Calhoun to 27-12 with three minutes to go in the game. The onside kick by Hebron was recovered by Calhoun Academy. With the lead and game well in hand, the Cougars scored off a 45 yard touchdown run. A 94 yard interception touchdown return by the Cougars ended the scoring. These back-to-back two final scores at the end of the game brought the final in favor of Calhoun at 40-12.
â€śI feel like we have played a good season, you canâ€™t always win them all,â€ť said tailback Austin Foster, â€śsome teams are better than you, but we still can get to the 9-1 mark.â€ť
Though Hebron finds themselves behind their first loss of the season, the Eagles can definitely hang their hats on having an 8-1 record. Hebron returns home for the last game of the season as they welcome another independent 8-man team in Humphreys Academy. â€śTheyâ€™re a good team,â€ť commented Coach David Foster, â€śwe just have to forget about this game and come out and try to finish 9-1.â€ť