Montgomery Academy coach Gary Nelson may not have been happy with the slow start of his team against region foe Beulah, but he was well satisfied when the final horn sounded. The Eagles made it a successful home opener and initial region game with a 46-18 pounding of the Bobcats. “I think we shot ourselves in the foot early in the game. Procedurally we started off really slow. We eventually got it together and it was good to have a big win, especially over a team that beat us last year,” Nelson said. Senior William Robertson said, “Yeah, coach got on us about things early in the game. It got us going in the right direction.”
The Eagles got on the board with their opening possession when Alex Kohn booted a 28 yard field goal. Beulah scored on its second possession to take a 6-3 lead when the Eagles missed several tackles on the Bobcats’ Chris Person, who scored from 15 yards out.
The Eagles took the lead for good early in the second quarter when quarterback Britton Kohn scored his first of three touchdowns. Kohn, number 11, scored at 11:11 in the second quarter. Kohn hit the end zone on the next MA possession midway in the second period and the Eagles started to fly high. After William Robertson intercepted his first of two Beulah passes in the quarter, Kohn dashed into the end zone for another score. The Eagles made the two point conversion when Kohn hit Robertson in the corner of the end zone to up the lead to 25-6. Kohn led MA for the game with 101 yards on 10 carries. The MA signal caller was 11-18 passing for 158 yards and a five yard touchdown to Hilsman James that came in the third quarter to conclude MA scoring.
The MA offense showed Beulah many looks and had the Bobcats off balance all night. To go along with Kohn’s passing game, the Eagles had Kohn and two others, Eric Doh and Jamal Cooper, to run the ball and keep Beulah guessing. “We had some good blocking and ran the ball well. We did some things they didn’t know was coming and our schemes worked well against them. Yeah, we kept them off balance with the various things we were doing,” Kohn explained.
Doh, playing in his first game of the season due to injury, scored on the next Eagles possession with a seven yard run to give MA a comfortable 32-6 halftime lead. Cooper added 67 yards on nine carries and scored from 15 yards out in the third quarter. Cooper also had four catches for 65 yards.
Missing from the MA running attack was Jon Clarke Woodward, the usual dependable starter who saw little action due to an injury sustained in week two.
Robertson led MA receivers with five catches for 84 yards. Defensively Robertson added 7 tackles to the pair of interceptions. “We read their offense well and we put in a lot of new defensive calls this week. The defensive line put pressure on them and forced their quarterback to throw so I can’t take much credit for the interceptions,” Robertson said. “I’m proud of our defense. We have a lot of starters that returned on defense and we have a lot of chemistry. I feel real good about our defensive effort.”
“Our defense played well other than a few mistakes. This time a year ago we were doing something else,” Nelson explained. “We changed our defensive structure. We did a great job on coverage calls with Mac Main and Hilsman James. Those two mean so much to us on defense. They just do a great job.”
Jack Anzalone added 8 tackles and James totaled 7 tackles. Brooks Seale had 6 tackles and Cam Holmes added 4 tackles and a sack.
Nelson hopes he can be at full strength for next week’s big game with Saint James. Having a healthy backfield to maintain the varied attack is what the Eagles need the most. “We have improved in key areas. I know we have only played three games and in some ways it is hard to judge yourself. I’m satisfied with our season thus far. We got a chance to have multiple ways to attack and we really hope John Clarke will be ready to go,” Nelson remarked.
“The game with Saint James is always important. We are now in the same class and area. It will be a tough week. Getting prepared for them is difficult and it is always a physical game. We got to try and find a way to match up physically while we must be prepared mentally,” Nelson said. “Preparing for Saint James is the hardest thing in the world. They give you nothing. Most of the time you can watch film and find something your opponent will give up. Not them. They make you earn everything.”
MA now stands at 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in region play. Saint James will drive down Vaughn Road next week at 3-0 and 1-0 in the region after easily defeating Bullock County 44-21 Friday night.