It was a battle of defenses at Bill Slayton Stadium on Southeast Guilford’s campus Friday night when the host Falcons took on the Smith Golden Eagles. Smith’s defense was stout, but Southeast’s was effective and made timely plays that led their team to an 11-6 victory.
The score was knotted at zero until Southeast scored their only touchdown of the game with 8:59 remaining in the second quarter. The Falcons scored when quarterback Ryan Douglas found Carson Burgess from nine yards out. The Falcons defense continued their strong play in the second quarter and didn’t allow Smith to score in the first half. Southeast’s defense also had an interception nullified due to a roughing the passer penalty in the second frame.
The Golden Eagles came out from halftime looking motivated. On the opening drive of the second half, Smith drove the ball 62 yards on 12 plays in just under five minutes. The drive was punctuated by an 18-yard touchdown reception by Emmanuel Allen on a play where Golden Eagle Quarterback Jordan Williams was flushed from the pocket and heaved an across-the-body pass into the end-zone and a group of Smith receivers. Allen came down with the grab. Smith’s attempt to take the lead on a two-point conversion failed and the score was tied at 6.
Neither team scored again until just 2:39 left in the game. Southeast was forced to kick a field goal despite having first-and-goal from the eight yard line. Two attempts to score from the two yard line failed. The Falcons’ ensuing 17-yard field goal made the score 9-6.
Smith’s next two possessions didn’t go well, either, as Southeast’s defense looked to be at their best of the night.
On the first play from scrimmage after the go-ahead field goal, Smith’s Williams threw a pass that was intercepted by Southeast’s Jax Hackett, who made a big contributions all night.
“I think, like last week, our defense prevailed,” Hackett said. “Our offense has some things to clean up, but we’re in a positive place.”
Although Hackett’s interception was key, he was involved in many plays and flew all over the field all night.
“That’s something Coach Tinsley teaches us, to fly to the ball, rally to it,” Hackett added. “We’re relentless.”
The Eagles were pinned on their own three yard line by Southeast punter Braxton King, and their defense sacked Williams in the end-zone for a safety.
Although Southeast moved to (2-0) with the win, head coach Kennedy Tinsley said that he believes his team has a lot to work on.
“I think that we’re very fortunate to get the win and we have a long way to go to get the most out of our football team,” Tinsley said. “Smith is physical and fast and a good team.”
Tinsley praised the performance of the man who put the win on ice for the Falcons, Jax Hackett.
“Jax is a leader. He is a great kid and a great football player, made a great play to help us win tonight. I expect nothing less from him, he’s that guy.”
Southeast Guilford is now (2-0) under first-year head coach Kennedy Tinsley and will host (2-0) Northwest Guilford, who beat Smith in its season opener, next week.
Smith falls to (0-2) with the loss and hosts High Point Andrews next Friday night.
(SEG) Carson Burgess 9 pass from Ryan Douglas (kick failed)
(BLS) Emmanuel Allen 18 pass from Jordan Williams (run failed)
(SEG) 17 Field Goal
SMITH OFFENSIVE LEADERS:
Jordan Williams: (9-24) 64yds, TD, INT
Emmanuel Allen: 1 rec 18yds, TD
Christan Cheeks: 5rec, 40yds
SOUTHEAST GUILFORD OFFENSIVE LEADERS:
Ryan Douglas: (12-22) 105yds, TD
Brent Apple: 9 rec 85yds
Carson Burgess: 1rec 9yds, TD