On Friday night, the Eagles fell into an early hole, as has been the case in every loss this season, and could never climb out. Westminster scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters to take a commanding 28-0 lead into the locker rooms at halftime, but Sumiton Christian battled back.
“We don’t give up,” said Eagles’ head coach Greg Patterson. “We crossed that bridge a long time ago.”
Josh Rouse returned the second half kick off 71 yards to the Wildcats’ 28-yard line, when controversy struck for the second time in the game.
Eagles’ quarterback Andrew Rhodes faked a hand off to Cody Taylor and ran around the right end for an apparent touchdown, but the officials called the play dead with an inadvertent whistle — the second time an Eagles’ touchdown was called back for a premature whistle on the night.
Rouse eventually punched in a score with 6:38 left in the third quarter, cutting the Wildcats lead to 28-7.
“At some point you have to learn how to play through adversity, but we’re not to that point yet,” Patterson said. “But we really had to play through a lot tonight.”
Beginning the fourth quarter, Sumiton Christian trailed just 31-7, but Austin Kaigler took the first play from scrimmage in the final stanza 56 yards for a touchdown, stretching the lead to 38-7.
On Sumiton Christian’s ensuing drive, Rhodes was sacked for a safety, and Harold Smith returned the free kick for a touchdown. Although Rhodes and Rouse each added touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the Eagles could never get back the 28 points it fell behind early.
Sumiton Christian will host Corner next week in their annual rivalry game to close out the season.