Coahoma Early College High School was on a three-game winning streak headed into Rosa Fort High School in Tunica Friday night and had a chance for another victory late, but missed opportunities proved costly down the stretch.
The Tigers (3-2) lost 20-14.
CECHS led 14-7 at halftime. With the game tied 14-14 late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers went for it on fourth down and three deep in Lions territory and missed the conversion.
Rosa Fort took the ball after the turnover and scored on a long run to take a 20-14 lead.
Tigers coach Jeremiah Brassell did not agree with the spot of the ball when his team went for it on fourth down.
“It was a bad spot,” he said. “The game itself, we should have won. It was tied 14-14 all the way up to 3:25 when we made that decision. I didn’t kick the field goal because we didn’t practice field goals this week. Overall, we had a hard-fought game. We should have pulled it out. We missed the interception that would have been a touchdown at the end of the first half. Then, we had a fumble in the third quarter. We drove it the length of the field and we fumbled.”
Senior Markevious Brown had 20 rushes for 55 yards and one 3-yard touchdown run, while senior quarterback Willie Eagins had 14 rushes for 91 yards and one 1-yard touchdown. Eagins lost one fumble and was 10 of 14 passing for 98 yards and three interceptions. Senior Chris Russell ran for a 2-point conversion.
Senior Corey Suggs had four receptions for 51 yards.
One of Brassell’s main concerns in the three wins was how his team did not play well for all four quarters.
Even though his team lost Friday, he saw some improvement in that area.
“We played a more complete game, but we’ve still got to finish,” Brassell said. “We gave up the late 90-something yard touchdown run. The outside linebacker didn’t squeeze down and then they returned the interception with about a minute left. It was a few mistakes that really cost us the game and one or two questionable calls. No excuses. We don’t blame the refs. We’ve got to fix us before blaming anybody else. We’ve got to point the finger at ourselves and our mistakes.”
Junior Kendrick Honeycutt had an interception on defense, senior Marquette Lewis and junior Zemartae Williams led the Tigers with two sacks each, and Suggs and sophomore Montayvion Whitfield had six tackles each.
The Tigers final non-district regular season is when Northside comes to town for CECHS’s homecoming at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Honestly, we’re just trying to get ready for the district,” Brassell said. “The best way to get ready for the district is to play competition now. Like I told the guys, I’m not mad we lost to those teams. I’m more upset that we couldn’t put together a complete game and we killed ourselves in certain situations.”
The Tigers went 4-2 last season before heading into district play. A win this week would give them the same non-district record as 2018.
“Hopefully, we’re going to come out like we did tonight, but also, we’re going to finish it,” Brassell said. “Like I always say, it’s all about finishing. Hopefully, we have a great crowd out here to support these kids. The last few weeks, we’ve been playing in front of nice size crowds and we need to keep that up.”
The Tigers did not win any district games in 2018 and Brassell hopes that result is different this season.
“Last year, we started out with the same record and we didn’t finish,” he said.
This year, Brassell hopes to finish strong and make the playoffs.
Malik Burnett is banged up with an injury and Thomas Williams Jr. attempted to come back from an injury Friday night, but was still banged up.
“Just a few nagging injuries, but we’re OK,” Brassell said. “A whole lot better than one year ago.”