Eagles cut Tigers’ claws, 14-12

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 12, 2005

“It’s a W and that’s what we want.” That was the statement from Sumter Academy Head Football Coach Bob Taylor to his players following their 14-12 win over Marion Military Institute.

The Eagles got off to a good start with an almost immediate touchdown by Matt Boler with 8:18 left in the first quarter. The team attempted a two-point conversion but the attempt failed.

On the kick off to MMI, the Tiger’s Javaros Smith took a return 80 yards down the field for a touchdown, tieing the score 6-6. The run took Smith along the boundary line so close that a slight breeze could have knocked him out, but he managed to remain in bounds and made his way unhindered to the end zone. The after-point kick was no good, however, so the score remained 6-6 at the end of the first quarter.

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The second quarter was quiet, with a couple of strong, successful passes, but neither team scored and at the end of the first half, the score remained 6-6.

The third quarter saw the Tigers take the lead thanks to a completed pass caught by Javaros Smith with 7:35 left in the quarter and run in for a touchdown. They, too, attempted a two-point conversion, which worked, raising the score to 14-6. And that’s how the third quarter ended.

It was much of the same in the fourth quarter as the Sumter Academy Eagles moved ahead with a touchdown at 11:52, bringing the score to 14-12. Another attempted two-point conversion was again unsuccessful and the score remained 14-12 at the end of the game.

There were some nail-biting plays there at the end, as the Tigers blocked a punt by the Eagles, but had the play called back because of a flag. Within moments of that call, the Tigers attempted a field goal, but again a penalty brought it back.

Time ran out on both teams, and the Sumter Academy Eagles took home their first win of the season.

MMI head coach Lamar Frith said his guys played hard, but needed to play harder.

_We played hard, we should have won,_ he said. _We had a penalty on the attempted field goal and that was a questionable call, but these boys are improving._

Bob Taylor was in a visibly good mood as he sent his players off the field to prepare for the ride home.

“I’m very happy, I’m just so proud of these boys,” he said. Taylor said the difference was in this week’s practice.

_We had probably the best week of practice, it was a real good week and these boys were focused and prepared when we got here._