Each game the Eagles are progressing more and more in skills throughout this season. And while they are getting stronger, the Fort Zumwalt South Bulldogs defeated the Eagles 30-21 this past Friday. The Eagles now have a record of 1-3 while the Bulldogs are 2-2. This season’s game was similar to their matchup last year, where South defeated them 25-21.
South scored the first touchdown of the game with 5:28 left in the first quarter on a pass from senior quarterback Jay Higgins to sophomore Amir Purdy. Junior Marquise Williams responded quickly to the touchdown by scoring one of his own on a six-yard run to put the Eagles on the board.
The last touchdown scored in the first quarter was on a pass from Higgins to sophomore Chase Bensing with 2:02 left on the clock. The score was 14-6 at the end of the first with the Bulldogs ahead of the Eagles.
The Eagle’s defense, although scored on twice in the quarter, was doing a great job of keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone. Also, the Eagles as a whole, were being flagged an outrageous amount of times throughout the game. Many calls made were not in violation of the rules and South had not even half of their violations flagged.
Throughout the game, even the student sections were fighting, with many students being kicked out of the game. South’s student section came over during the game and stole the “We Dawg Huntin” sign from the Liberty student section, causing many of the Eagles to chase the intruders to the other side of the field to take the sign back.
When the Liberty students arrived at the Bulldog’s pen, they found that the sign was ripped up. The Liberty students didn’t react well, and many of the kids who went to retrieve the sign were kicked out of the game before the first half was over.
Liberty scored the first touchdown of the second quarter on a 10-yard run by junior Jordan Bishop. The Eagles tied up the game 14-14 with sophomore Noah Kuehner’s run for a successful two point conversion. Higgins then scored with 1:41 left in the half, putting South back on top again, 21-14. In the third quarter, South’s Higgins scored again on a three yard run for the only touchdown in the quarter.
The highlight of the Eagles game was senior Alex Fillner’s 94-yard run off a Reece Davidson pass for a touchdown. This was Fillner’s first game playing offense this year, found more often on the defensive line as a defensive back.
“If I’m being completely honest, when the ball was thrown, I did not think I was going to get under it at all,” Fillner said. “For the first 25 yards I thought the dude was going to catch me. And then he ended up not catching me, which was awesome because then I scored, but then when I scored my legs felt like complete jello.” Fillner had 104 yards total in the South game last season, and this season he had a 94-yard touchdown that put him leading the team in receiving yards.
“It felt awesome because my whole life I’ve lived on the offensive side,” Fillner said. “I honestly would love to play anywhere, I just love to play football, but the offensive side is where I’m used to playing.”
This Sportscenter-worthy play made the score 28-20, South still in the lead. With 2:25 left in the game, South ended it with a field goal from 27 yards. The final score was 31-20, with Bulldogs staying on top of the Eagles for the duration of the game.
Fort Zumwalt South 14 7 7 3 – 31
Liberty 6 8 0 6 – 20
F: Amir Purdy 19 pass from Jay Higgins (Jackson Tankersley kick), 5:28
L: Marquise Williams 6 run (kick failed), 4:09
F: Chase Bensing 7 pass from Jay Higgins (Jackson Tankersley kick), 2:32
L: Jordan Bishop 10 run (Noah Kuehner run), 5:09
F: Jay Higgins 5 run (Jackson Tankersley kick), 1:41
F: Jay Higgins 3 run (Jackson Tankersley kick), 5:06
L: Alexander Fillner 94 pass from Reece Davidson (kick failed), 10:03