Talyor Coggins rushed for a season-high three touchdowns as the Hebron Christian School Eagles bounced back from a 10-point deficit at the half to earn their second victory on the season, 36-16 over Clinton Christian Friday night in their home opener.
“It was an overall team effort, but we really had a big game out of Taylor Coggins tonight,” head coach Tri Nason said. “Just unselfishness on everyone’s part. Everybody just wanted to make it a team effort and it was.”
Playing for the first time in front of their home fans this season, the Eagles (2-1), coming of a big 42-point performance the week before, found themselves trailing with just a few minutes into the game as the visiting Warriors scored on their opening drive and then followed up with a field goal from 32-yards out.
Hebron responded with 4:08 left in the first quarter when Coggins scored the first of his three rushing TD’s from 23-yards out. A failed 2-point conversion left the score at 9-6.
Nason knew after watching film the Warriors were going to be tough to stop on offense.
“They had potential to do what they did, they just had to get everything going just right and they did that in the first half,” he said.
Clinton Christian extended their lead before the end of the quarter and led 16-6 after the first break. Both teams were scoreless in the second quarter and the Eagles were facing a big mountain to climb to keep the momentum going and they had plenty of time to do it.
Coggins, who ran for a team-high 175-yards scored his second touchdown of the night with a 53-yard sprint to put the Eagles right back in the ball game. Quez Robinson added another score with less than a minute left to play in the third to give Hebron a 20-16 advantage.
The momentum continued in the fourth quarter when Coggins capped off his performance with a 1-yard run before Will-Corben Rogers scored on a quarterback keeper to close the door and seal the win.
Nason said they made some changes at the break that really paid off, but it was the players who made the decision this was their game to win.
“The main difference was the players decided they didn’t want to go down like that without a fight,” he said. “And once they decided to fight it was better from there.”
Hebron amassed 456 total yards of offense in the win, including an explosive running attack that tallied 392 yards led by Coggins, Rogers (128) and Robinson (89). Rogers was just 4-for-9 in the air for 64 yards.
Defensively, the Eagles had seven players with at least five tackles led by Harley Thompson and David Kinard who each had eight apiece. Kinard also had an interception, one of three on the night for Hebron. Ryan Moore, who finished with five tackles had the other two.
Hebron will get another bye week and probably tone down the intensity at practice which has been extremely high the last two weeks because of their success. That might be tough.
“It’s going to be a little bit more laid back this week, focus on running and conditioning,” Nason said. “I expect the intensity to get better. I was worried about being over confident but I’m thinking they’re going to stay pretty humble all year. I need to keep the confidence level as high as I can.”