There’s no official word on whether or not Eufaula City Schools had to pay a groundskeeper to stay overtime in order to pick up all of the laundry that was tossed on the turf at Tiger Stadium Friday night.
Thirty penalties for 295 yards, including the ejection of at least two Park Crossing players and one or two coaches, overshadowed Eufaula reaching the 50-point mark for the third consecutive game as the Tigers steamrolled the Thunderbirds 50-29 on Senior Night.
The aftermath left Eufaula tied for second at 2-1 in the Class 6A, Region 2, a half-game behind Dothan (3-1) and technically in front of Sidney Lanier (2-1) since the Tigers beat the Poets head-to-head this season.
For those whose vision was blocked by the bevy of officials’ flags, they missed a pair of “You Got Mossed” moments by Eufaula receiver Rah Rah Thomas, both resulting in highlight-film touchdowns.
Park Crossing, which handed Dothan its only region loss (42-27 at Dothan) for its only win of the season, appeared in great shape early. The Thunderbirds recovered a Eufaula fumble at the Tigers’ 9-yard line. On third-and-goal from the 5, Eufaula’s Lemarion Johnson sacked PC’s Jayvius Langford. A 31-yard field goal attempt was then wide left.
On Park Crossing’s next possession, a Dontrel Henry sack helped lead to a fourth-and-49 for the Thunderbirds at their own 1. Thomas returned the ensuing punt to the PC 24. Four plays later, EHS quarterback Hess Horne passed to Thomas in the corner of the end zone, but Thomas out-jumped the defender and hauled it in for the score. A two-point conversion failed and with 3:02 left in the opening quarter, Eufaula led 6-0.
Park Crossing fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Quay Lynn recovered for Eufaula. Horne would cap off a six-play drive with a 1-yard sneak with 1:04 still left in the first. Again, Eufaula tried for two but was stopped, leaving its lead at 12-0.
Park Crossing put together an 11-play, 80-yard drive and scored on Langford’s 7-yard pass to Trevor Robinson. The PAT closed the gap to 12-7 with 8:29 left in the half.
Eufaula answered quickly, scoring in just three plays. The final 54 yards came when Horne fought off a defensive interference, juggled the ball, and eventually hauled it in, racing in for the TD. Davis Wingate’s PAT made it 19-7 with 7:56 left in the half.
A three-and-out by Park Crossing led to a two-play, 45-yard drive by the Tigers, the final 45 of which came on a pass from Horne to Jay Townsend, whose spin move and ensuing afterburners left Park Crossing defenders only as spectators as he sprinted to pay dirt. Wingate’s PAT made it 26-7 with 6:14 left in the half.
Park Crossing returned the following kickoff 53 yards and was set up deep in Eufaula territory. However, a crushing hit by Brennan Ford and another sack by Henry turned the ball over on downs.
Eufaula responded by driving 54 yards and scoring with 25 seconds left in the half when Horne found Devin Fuller for an 8-yard TD pass. Wingate’s PAT made it 33-7.
At halftime, Park Crossing had 14 rushes for zero yards and had only managed 5 first downs – all coming on one drive in the second quarter.
The Thunderbirds went almost exclusively to the air in the second half, passing on 21 of 26 plays. Nevertheless, a 52-yard run on the third play of the third quarter by Langford, followed by a PAT was as close as Park Crossing would get at 33-14.
Wingate drilled a 43-yard field goal with 8:22 left in the third after back-to-back false start penalties on EHS moved the ball back 10 yards.
Working out of the Wildcat, Fuller started left, then handed off to Townsend, who was headed left. Townsend didn’t stop until 71 yards later. Wingate’s PAT made it 43-14 with 5:55 left in the third.
With 2:04 left in the third, Langford connected from 13 yards out with Braxton Toliver for the Thunderbirds. The PAT made it 43-21.
Horne added Eufaula’s final score with another 1-yard run with 10:19 remaining. Wingate’s PAT made it 50-21, but the sideline fireworks were just warming up for Park Crossing.
Game officials, who had warned both teams during the game, had a lengthy chat with Park Crossing coaches. One coach laid his headset on the field in anger. Eventually, at least one and possibly two coaches were ejected, which followed the ejection of at least two Thunderbird players.
When play finally resumed, four unsportsmanlike penalties were marked off against PC, meaning Eufaula lined up to kick from the Thunderbirds’ 8-yard line. PC players did the right thing in staying away from the ball as it couldn’t go officially 10 yards and anything in the end zone is an automatic touchback.
The Thunderbirds did add a final score with 8:00 remaining on a 19-yard pass from Langford to Jeremiah Walker, who capped off a huge night with 12 receptions for 168 yards.
Fuller had his biggest night as a Tiger with 24 carries for 163 yards, also catching two passes for 11 yards and a touchdown. Thomas hauled in 3 catches – 2 for touchdowns – for 75 yards. Horne was 9-of-17 for 153 yards.
Eufaula is averaging 43.7 points per game. The Tigers play their final regular-season home game next week as they welcome Russell County to Eufaula. The Warriors (2-5) have held three opponents to 14 points or less this season.
Defensively, Brooks Weeks was in on 9 tackles while also snaring an interception. Zayden Thomas also had an interception. Keith Bain had 8 tackles, while Henry finished with 7, two for sacks. Johnson had 4 stops, including a sack.
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Score by quarters
Park Crossing 0 7 14 8 -- 29
Eufaula 12 21 10 7 – 50
EUFAULA – Thomas 13 pass from Horne (pass fail), 3:02
EUFAULA – Horne 1 run (run fail), 1:04
PARK CROSSING -- Robinson 14 pass from Langford (Sanderson), 8:29
EUFAULA – Thomas 54 pass from Horne, (Wingate kick), 7:56
EUFAULA – Townsend 45 pass from Horne (Wingate kick), 6:14
EUFAULA – Fuller 8 pass from Horne (Wingate kick), :25
PARK CROSSING -- Langford 52 run Sanderson kick), 11:05
EUFAULA – Wingate 43 field goal, 8:22
EUFAULA – Townsend 71 run (Wingate kick), 5:55
EUFAULA – Horne 1 run (Wingate kick), 10:19
PARK CROSSING – Walker 19 pass from Langford (Robinson pass from Langford), 8:00
First Downs 17 18
Rushes-Yards 20-60 40-247
Passes 18-31-2 9-17-0
Passing Yards 232 153
Total Yards 292 400
Punts Avg. 3-31.0 3-28.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties 20-230 10-65
Time of Possession 20:17 27:43
PARK CROSSING – Robinson 5-41, Langford 9-37, Lewis 6-(-8). EUFAULA – Fuller 24-163, Townsend 2-70, Tennille 8-15, Lewis 1-2, Horne 5-(-3).
PARK CROSSING – Langford 17-29-2-226, Robinson 1-2-0-6. EUFAULA –Horne 9-17-0-153.
PARK CROSSING – Walker 12-268, Toliver 2-36, . EUFAULA – Townsend 6-76, Fuller 6-53, Thomas 6-36, Tennille 2-15, Blackshire 1-2, Lewis 1-1.
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Class 6A, Region 2
Dothan 5-2 3-1
Eufaula 5-2 2-1
Sidney Lanier 2-3 2-1
Carver Montgomery 4-2 1-1
Park Crossing 1-6 1-2
Russell County 2-5 0-3
Last week’s results
Eufaula 50, Park Crossing 29
Dothan 44, Carver 20
Sidney Lanier 12, Russell County 0
This week’s schedule
Friday, Sept. 4
Russell County at Eufaula
Sidney Lanier at Carver
Dothan is OPEN
Park Crossing is OPEN
Other Eufaula Opponent Scores
Blount 34, Alma Bryant (0-6) 13
Jeff Davis 31, Smiths Station (2-5) 14
Harris County (GA) 38, Beauregard (0-7) 14
Wakulla (FL) (7-0) 63, Jefferson County (FL) 26