Eagles claw their way to victory
The Augusta Eagles have had a lot of growing pains this year. In their first season in 11-man football, the team had been unable to break through and get its first win. It was capped by an 84-0 blowout at home against the Anderson Cavaliers.
However, on any given week that can change, and on Friday the team went to Douglasville, Georgia and beat Grace Christian Academy, 22-21.
“We came out and we didn’t play well in the first half,” head coach Sam Lilly said. “It was like we weren’t even there. First play of the game we fumbled and they recovered. ... At the half it was 21-8. This was the most frustrating game of my life, because I couldn’t get them to do the things we should do. One of my coaches came up and said ‘we just need to play.’ We went out there without any sort of strategy or anything, we just played the game.”
Lilly said his team went to a one back set with two tight ends and that his team “started attacking the left side.”
“For about eight plays in a row we just kept running it up,” Lilly said. “After a couple of penalties and a couple of stalls, it was third-and-10 and we threw the ball to the fullback, who had never caught a pass in a game. Robert (Dingerson) threw a beautiful pass and the guy caught it and stayed in bounds. I told Robert when he came over to the sidelines that we were going to run the same play, but he was going to boot it. I also told him not to tell anybody.”
Dingerson went on to pick up a first down, and after getting down to the goal line the team was stopped a handful of times. After finally punching it in, however, the score sat at 21-20. Lilly chose to go for the win with a 2-point conversion – the Eagles got that and held on for the victory.
“We are not here just to play football, we’re here to change young people’s lives,” Lilly said. “What we do at the Augusta Eagles is different – we have a lot of kids who never played before and may have never had the chance to play. We also have a lot of kids who are in difficult situations at home or school. We give them the opportunity to escape their circumstances, at least temporarily, on the football field.”
The Eagles will be on a bye this week and then play on the road against the Monsignor Donovan Rams on Oct. 4.