By Ruthie Robison The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Ackerman Indians traveled down Highway 9 last Friday night to Wofford Field squaring off with long time and Class 2A, Region 2, District 4 rival, the Eupora Eagles.
After an intense four quarters of play, the Indians were edged by the Eagles 22-18.
“This was one of those games where both teams [were] evenly matched and it goes one way,” said head coach Adam Dillinger. “And it just didn’t go our way [last Friday night.]”
The Eagles scored early in the first quarter with a halfback pass option play. Rusty Johnson found receiver Derrick Jones in the end zone with a 35-yard pass. After the extra point, Eupora had a 7-0 lead.
The Indians answered back making their way down the field with a long drive capped with an 11-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Dakota Brasher to sophomore Jamarcus Bradley. Unable to receive the extra point, Ackerman continued to trail with 9:54 left in the first half of the game, 7-6.
The Eagles’ next possession of the game ended with an unsuccessful field goal attempt and the Indians took over at their own 20-yard line. Two plays later junior running back T.C. Hatchett ran for a 39- yard gain putting Ackerman deep in Eupora territory. A few plays later, Brasher found Lenny Taylor open in the end zone with an 11- yard pass. Just a little over three minutes left in the second quarter, the Indians had a 12-7 advantage over the Eagles.
Alex Foust caught an interception at midfield and returned it to the Eupora four-yard line handing Ackerman another opportunity to increase their lead. On the next play, Hatchett punched it in from the four. This would be the last time the Indians would reach the end zone.
Eupora fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff return, and it was quickly recovered by Cody Harris in Eupora territory. Although it seemed that the Indians would have another chance to score, those hopes were shot down on the next play. Derrick Jones caught an interception and ran 70 yards for an Eagle touchdown with 1:03 left in the first half.
The Indians continued to lead Eupora at halftime, 18-15.
The third quarter remained silent for both teams.
However early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles capped their scoring with a 19-yard touchdown run by Savon Daughtery.
“I thought our kids played really hard and I was thrilled with the effort they gave,” said Dillinger.
The Indians collected a total of 12 first downs and a total of 289 yards, 154 rushing, 124 passing and 11 return yards. Hatchett led the rushing attack with 17 carries for 108 yards with one touchdown. Harris had six carries for 22 yards. Brasher was 10-18 through the air for 124 yards with two touchdowns.
“[Brasher] did a good job. He had some pressure and scrambled around the pocket, bought some time and found some guys,” said Dillinger. “And we had guys make some great plays for him. Jamarcus [Bradley] made a great catch in the end zone and I thought they all played really hard and really well.”
Bradley had six receptions for 58 yards with one touchdown, while Quinton Lane had two receptions for 40 yards. Javorie Triplett had one reception for 15 yards. Taylor had one reception for 11 yards with one touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, Quincy Cole and Willie Miller led with eight stops each. Taylor, Anquan Smith and Bonnes Brown had five stops a piece.
Bradley had a fumble recovery.
The Indians hold a 6-3 overall record and are 2-1 in district play.
“We’re going to come back and we’re going to keep working,” said Dillinger. “Our goals are still ahead of us. We want to compete for a state championship, that is still out there and we’re going to come back [this week] and get to work.”
This Friday night the Indians travel to North Carrollton to take on the J.Z. George Jaguars. The Jaguars have a 2-7 overall record and are 0-3 in division games. J.Z. George was recently defeated by Hamilton, 27-6.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.