As the Eagles prepared for a district matchup with the Monarch Knights, the possibility of a playoff berth sat in the back of their minds. Defeating the Knights would get them one step closer to that goal.
It was an emotional night for the Eagles’ seniors, as pulling off the win would potentially allow them to keep their high school careers alive in the playoffs.
The Eagles were able to pull off the huge win over the Monarch Knights by a score of 18-15 on Friday, Nov. 27th.
“It feels great to keep my senior season alive,” said star wide receiver Tai Lehtio. “We had a really rough start to the year, but we’ve turned it around and it feels great to have won 4 of our last 5 games.”
The Eagles got off to a fast start as quarterback Ryan Kavanaugh (16) scored on a long rush after the Knights muffed the Eagles first punt.
After the Eagles failed a two-point conversion, the Knights drove down the field thanks to a long pass from quarterback Zach D’Amico (12) to AJ Mendoza (19). The drive was capped off with a touchdown, when junior running back Mario Young (24) slammed the ball into the end zone. The extra point gave the Knights a 7-6 lead.
Near the end of the second quarter, Eagles running back Jordan Gray (8) shined with several powerful runs, capping off his fantastic drive with a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 12-6 lead.
The Eagles extended their lead to 15-6 off the foot of kicker Mason Hall (48) after Eddison Pratts (32) blocked a Knights punt. Soon after, the Knights answered with a blocked punt of their own, but failed to capitalize on it.
Hall’s second field goal of the game put the Eagles up 18-6, and it appeared to be over. However, a long Knights touchdown with just under two minutes remaining in the game shortnened the deficit to 3, effectively putting pressure on the Eagles.
This pressure did not faze Kavanaugh, however, as he solidified the Eagles victory when he scrambled for a huge first down pickup, ending the game in the process.
“It feels great to be given this opportunity at such a critical point in the season,” said Kavanaugh. “I’m already comfortable with the team and the offense that Coach May has put together.
The rest of the team seems to already have a lot of confidence in Kavanaugh’s ability to lead as a quarterback.
“Ryan has done a great job of making big plays in big moments, and he has really motivated the team,” said Lehtio.
Center Lucas Taylor (52) fought through a painful foot injury he suffered during practice, demonstrating the determination of the team as they wished to continue playing.
“I was in some excruciating pain out there, but there was no chance I was going to miss out on fighting for a playoff spot with my brothers,” said Taylor.
The Eagles (5-3) will look to continue their incredible run on Friday, Nov. 3rd when they will host the Plantation Colonels (8-1) at 7:00 pm in Cumber Stadium.