LEXINGTON – Tyler Crow's debut night at quarterback was a success as the senior ran for two scores and passed for another to lead his team to a victory Friday night over Oglethorpe County.
Crow's three scores accounted for all 21 points scored by the Eagles in the 21-17 victory. He also carried the rock 14 times for 107 yards, and completed four passes for 49 yards. A third quarter interception was Crow's only blemish, besides the two-yard loss at the end to kill the clock.
"This is the first year he's played quarterback," said head coach Cameron Pettus. "He's really blossomed. He's a very savvy runner, we love that about him. There are little things we need to clean up, but that was his first varsity game as starting quarterback and I thought he did a great job. He's a great kid, great leader, very coachable."
Running back Gary Maddox was on the receiving end of Crow's touchdown pass in the second quarter. Maddox caught a screen pass from a scrambling Crow, and he weaved through the Patriot defense for a 16-yard score. He added 42 yards on 11 carries as a rusher.
East Jackson's most positive takeaway was on defense. The varsity defense didn't allow a touchdown and only gave up 91 total yards. The Patriots started deep in Eagle territory twice because of turnovers and East Jackson kept them from scoring both times.
"A big point of emphasis was tackling," Pettus said. "Our defense did a real good job of that."
Even though the game was just a scrimmage, Pettus and his squad were very proud of the victory because of how the squad played. East Jackson only committed four penalties, two of which were offsetting. The Eagles avoided procedural and blocking penalties. Turnovers were a problem, however. A fumbled snap and an interception gave Oglethorpe County great field position. The Patriots' defense scored a touchdown on another East Jackson fumble.
In the post game huddle, multiple players spoke to the team including Crow who praised the defense while saying his unit still had a lot to improve on.
"We just have to keep getting better and keep believing in ourselves," Pettus said. "Those are seniors stepping up, also one of our juniors Gary Maddox. All of these kids are in, we're all in East Jackson. We love East Jackson.
"These kids want to be here and that's the best part about it. They all love each other, they care about each other and they listen and they work for each other.