For the second consecutive year, Eufaula has opened its football season at home with an out-of-state opponent, and for the second straight time the Tigers were the ones ambushed.
Wakulla (Crawfordville, Florida), a school with about twice the enrollment of Eufaula, wore down Eufaula in the second half and claimed a 35-16 victory in the first-ever meeting between the programs. Last year, Eufaula led 3-0 at half before succumbing to Early County (Georgia) 28-3.
Eufaula actually had the ball and down just one score inside the final six minutes of the game but was unable to narrow the gap. The War Eagles then scored twice in a span of 25 seconds to seal the home team’s fate.
Wakulla had managed a mere 110 yards of offense in the first half, including 96 via its rushing attack. The War Eagles finished with 349 yards – 229 on the ground.
Eufaula took the opening kickoff and, following a big return by Jay’Juan Townsend, appeared ready to roll as it quickly moved to the Wakulla 9 yard line. However, after being back up due to a penalty, Hess Horne’s pass was picked off by Desmond Green in the end zone to end the drive.
Neither team threatened again until 1:22 remaining when Troy University commit and Wakulla quarterback Jaylon Worsham capped off a 4-play, 47-yard drive by sprinting 20 yards to pay dirt. Chase Linville’s PAT made it 7-0.
Eufaula, in a hurry up, went 69 yards in 7 plays, scoring on a 4th-and-5 with just 9 seconds left in the half when Horne found Townsend open at the 10. The first-year Tiger broke free and took it the rest of the way for the TD. Davis Wingate’s PAT tied it at 7-7.
Wakulla ate more than half the third quarter off the clock with the opening drive of the second half, scoring with 5:30 left in the period when Jordan Bolden crossed the line from 2 yards out for a 14-7 lead. Bolden appeared to get leg cramps on the play and never returned despite finishing the night as the War Eagles’ leading rusher with 75 yards on 17 carries.
Wakulla made it two-for-two in the second half, scoring on a three-play, 58-yard drive when Worsham took it in from 5 yards out with 2:59 left in the third quarter and a 21-7 lead.
Eufaula answered with 6 seconds left in the period when it capped off a 7-play, 52-yard drive with a 4-yard TD pass from Horne to Devin Fuller. Wingate cut the deficit to 21-14.
Wakulla appeared to have an interception return for a score early in the fourth quarter, but a block in the back near the end zone negated that TD. Eufaula would hold and get the ball back with 6:19 remaining.
A three-and-out forced a punt and Wakulla’s Jakari Ervin capped off a drive with a 22-yard run with 2:43 remaining.
Now trailing by two scores, Eufaula was intercepted on its very next play from scrimmage. On its first play following the interception, Worsham found a wide open Greene for a 58-yard TD pass with 2:18 remaining and a 35-14 lead.
Horne was picked off for the fourth time and third in the fourth quarter with 5 seconds remaining, but Greene made the mistake of bring the ball out of the end zone before retreating behind the goal line, therefore resulting in a safety as he was tackled by the Tigers, setting the final margin.
Eufaula was limited to just 63 yards rushing on 20 carries. Horne was 22-of-33 through the air for 183 yards, 2 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Jay’Juan Townsend had 7 receptions for 76 yards for EHS. Fuller and Rah Rah Thomas had six catches each for the Tigers.
Wakulla had just two more plays from scrimmage, yet held the ball for more than 11 minutes than Eufaula.
Eufaula is at home again Friday as Beauregard visits. The Hornets were shut out 31-0 at home against Benjamin Russell last week.
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Score by quarters
Wakulla 0 7 14 14 – 35
Eufaula 0 7 7 2 -- 16
WAKULLA – Worsham 20 run (Linville kick), 1:22
EUFAULA – Townsend 37 pass from Horne (Wingate kick). :09
WAKULLA – Bolden 2 run (Linville kick), 5:30
WAKULLA – Worsham 5 run (Linville kick), 2:59
EUFAULA – Fuller 4 pass from Horne (Wingate kick), :06
WAKULLA – Ervin 22 run (Linville kick), 2:43
WAKULLA – Greene 58 pass from Worsham (Linville kick), 2:18
EUFAULA – Greene tackled in end zone for safety, :05
First Downs 14 12
Rushes-Yards 45-229 20-63
Passes 4-10-0 22-33-4
Passing Yards 120 183
Total Yards 349 246
Punts Avg. 3-34.3 4-19.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties 5-40 8-57
Time of Possession 29:47 18:23
WAKULLA – Bolden 17-75, Wosham 14-64, Ervin 5-54, Wilson 8-35, Gallagher 1-1. EUFAULA – Tennille 8-26, Lewis 6-24, Paige 2-8, Horne 1-6, Fuller 2-5, Townsend 1-(-5).
WAKULLA – Worsham 4-10-0-120. EUFAULA –Horne 22-33-4-183.
WAKULLA – Greene 1-58, Leslie 1-48, Miller 1-8, Bolden 1-6. 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
Carver Montgomery 1-0 0-0
Sidney Lanier 0-0 0-0
Eufaula 0-1 0-0
Dothan 0-1 0-0
Park Crossing 0-1 0-0
Russell County 0-1 0-0
Last week’s results
Wakulla (FL) 35, Eufaula 16
Clay-Chalkville 37, Dothan 14
Carver Montgomery 18, Jeff Davis 13
Smiths Station 34, Russell County 6
Lee Montgomery 7, Park Crossing 0
This week’s schedule
Thursday, Aug. 29
Lee Montgomery vs. Sidney Lanier
Friday, Aug. 30
Beauregard at Eufaula
Greenville at Carver
Russell County at Carroll
Wetumpka at Dothan
Park Crossing at St. Pauls