The win raised the Eagles’ early season record to 1-1.
“That game was a great test of our character and composure. Our defensive front and linebackers played well all game long, and at the end of the game, when we really needed to get stops, our second team of defensive backs really came through,” said head coach Steve Marbach.
The game was a defensive battle and the Lions did not help themselves with three lost fumbles. The Eagles managed a 12-yard aerial TD in the first period as QB Ryan Beck found Casey Jones on the scoring strike for the 7-0 lead after Beck nailed the PAT kick.
The visiting Lions answered on a Deon Mayberry 25-yard run through the Eagle defense for Kenedy’s first TD. The extra point by Weston Hallmark was good and the game was knotted at 7-7.
The two defenses held in the scoreless second period and the two teams went into the locker rooms at the half still tied at 7-7.
Pettus kick returner Josh Herrera took things into his own hands in the third quarter as he worked his way into the clear and outran the Lions for a 95-yard scoring jaunt that gave the Eagles a 13-7 edge early in the third period. The PAT kick failed.
The Beck to Jones tandem worked again a little later in the quarter for another TD. This one went for 16 yards and Beck made good on the extra point kick for a 20-7 lead heading into the fourth stanza.
The Lions rallied and scored in the final period on a pass play of their own. QB Rolando Zepeda hit Tristan Mejia from 24 yards out to make the score 20-13. The Lions failed on the PAT.
As time was running down, the Lions got a safety to add to their score but it was not enough as the Eagles emerged with their first victory of the season at 20-15.
“That’s what Pettus Eagle defense is about. We flew to the ball and hit people when we got there. Now we’ve got to build on Friday night’s performance,” Marbach said.
The Eagles rushed for 84 yards on the night with Beck picking up 64 of those yards on 11 carries. Herrera covered nine yards on eight tries. Hunter Tomlin had one carry good for six yards. Dylan Lopez had four yards on four attempts.
Beck was 12-24 with two interceptions for 145 yards. Lopez threw twice for the Eagles but missed on both attempts.
“That was a wild football game, and I’m proud of our guys being able to make enough plays to win it. Next week, things don’t get any easier as we travel to Cotulla. They are big up front and run the ball very well,” Marbach said.
The Eagles travel to Cotulla on Friday to tangle with the Cowboys. The kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. The Cowboys edged Crystal City 21-20 last week.