IIt was a one-sided matchup from the get-go as Coahoma Early College High School won its third straight when it traveled to the home of cross-town rival Coahoma County Thursday night 42-8.
The Tigers (3-1) took a 36-0 halftime lead and there was a running clock throughout the second half.
CCHS (1-3) receiver Markevious Holmes dislocated his left knee on the game’s opening kickoff causing a half-hour delay before an ambulance came.
“You lose one of your better players to injuries, actually two of them, we’re already thin, I think it took a little momentum from us,” said Red Panthers coach Mario Lane. “It still wasn’t any excuse. We still did a poor job of tackling tonight and not executing on offense. I saw some things we could have done and just didn’t do, but overall, our defensive tackling got us in the trouble we were in. We’re so young.”
Lane added only nine Red Panthers were on the team last season.
“It’s growing pains, really,” Lane said. “That’s all it is.”
Once action did get going, Markevious Brown ran for a 2-yard touchdown for the Tigers with 8:19 remaining in the first quarter and Chris Russell completed the 2-point conversion.
Brown finished with 88 yards rushing and Russell had 35 yards on the ground to go with an interception.
Malik Burnett, who had 72 yards rushing scored the next two touchdowns from 65 and 7 yards out. Brown ran in the 2-point conversion on the second score.
Quarterback Willie Eagins threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Russell and completed the 2-point conversion pass. Eagins ran in a 1-yard touchdown before halftime to extend the lead to 36-0.
Eagins had 94 yards passing and 50 yards rushing.
It has been the same story for the Tigers all season – a strong start and slow finish. However, coach Jeremiah Brassell recognized the circumstances were different Thursday night when the second half did not go as well for the Tigers.
“It didn’t help that we had to run the clock the whole second half and we didn’t get the kickoff – our first play – until almost nine minutes,” Brassell said. “But, overall, I’m excited about the first half. I just wish we would go ahead and play the complete game. Defense let them drive down at the end of the third quarter, so we’ve just got to put that together.
“For some reason, we become lackadaisical when we go ahead, but we’re working on it and we will start finishing games out. We played a little better this game. We didn’t try to run up the score or anything. I just tried to work us at a tempo pace.”
Eagins threw his second touchdown pass to Kendrick Honeycutt from 35 yards out in the third quarter.
Red Panthers quarterback Lamont Lee had a hit to the head and did not play the second half.
“When Holmes went down early, he had to play more defense than he was accustomed to,” Lane said. “We asked him to do a little more and fatigue set in on him.”
Lee is expected to be able to play this week, but his status is questionable.
Clintavious Davis came in at quarterback and led the Red Panthers on a scoring drive.
Christian Banks had a 5-yard run for Coahoma County with 9:03 remaining in the fourth quarter and Davis completed the 2-point conversion to Talik Patterson.
Lee is still the starting quarterback, but Lane praised Davis’ effort.
“If he’s OK, he is our starter,” Lane said. “Clint did well. We just put a senior back there. He’s been a leader for the guys and he knows how to rally them and guys, they’ll fight for them, so we just kind of leaned on our senior to get us through the game.”
Lee is more of a passing quarterback, while Davis mostly runs with the football, but Brassell did not feel that caused his defense to give up the touchdown.
“It really wasn’t any factor in it,” Brassell said. “It’s just our outside linebackers didn’t have outside containment. It’s one of those things we’ve got to work out with some of the young guys.”
Jeremy George and Jeremiah Brassell Jr. led the Tigers with 1 ½ sacks each.
Lineman Marquette Lewis and receiver and defensive back Thomas Williams Jr. were sidelined for CECHS with injuries, but are expected to return this week.
CECHS is at Tunica Rosa Fort this week, while CCHS travels to Holly Springs. Kickoff for both games is set for 7 p.m. Friday.