Herard's huge night leads Eupora over French Camp

For Starkville Daily News

Eupora quarterback Edwin Herard knew what he had to do.

After Herard's Eagles gave up a 65-yard kick return for a touchdown, he threw the biggest touchdown of his eight for the night as he led Eupora to a 48-17 victory over the French Camp Panthers.

Herard threw a 50-yard strike to Abraham Hodges to make it a 28-17 lead for the Eagles going into halftime.

He said the team’s plan was to go pass there and it worked.

“We kind of we’re anticipating throwing the ball because they have been biting up,” Herard said. “We knew they were going to go up and make a play and we just took a chance and it was successful.”

Eupora (2-1) got the game started off with a 6-yard touchdown run by Herard after a punt return put the Eagles in the red zone. The punt return was one of many special team plays that put Eupora in scoring position and played vital for head coach Stephen Edward’s team.

“That is the third phase of the game," Edwards said. "We do a special teams player of the week and we will find one. If you are not good at special teams, you are going to get beat against a good team. Kick off and punt return put us in good spots.”

French Camp answered with a touchdown pass over the middle to Bradley Edwards, as it barely got the football over the field goal crossbar to make it 7-6. The lead for the Panthers wouldn’t last as Eupora closed the half with a rushing touchdown by Herard, however Eupora missed a field goal making it a 12-7 Eagles lead. Eupora missed many more field goals as a result of the rain that came down shortly after the touchdown was scored.

“It started raining pretty early," coach Edwards said. "It’s tough to handle the ball. We haven’t practiced with a wet ball. That’s our fault as coaches. We need to get a wet ball out there and that is what we need to work on.”
The Eagles scored a touchdown following a safety, and they converted the two-point conversion to make it 22-10.

French Camp quarterback Edwards picked up the squib kicked ball squirmed free out of the defenders and then he was off to the races closing the gap to 22-17 before Eupora made it a 28-17 advantage at halftime.
In the second half, Eupora came out swinging and Herard scored a 43-yard touchdown run to make it 34-17, he then threw a touchdown pass to Cameron Culpepper to make it 41-17 and found Culpepper again in the end zone to make it 48-17.

French Camp head coach Nathan Wright gave credit to Herard while also saying his team might have made it easier for him to play so well.

“He had a great game, threw the ball on the money even when they were wet,” Wright said. “Our cornerbacks got beat deep, and I think we made it easy for him to have a good night. We just played very poorly in the second half.”

Eupora was able to hold French Camp to no points in the second half by a little adjustment it made at halftime defensively.

“We just had to put an extra guy in the box,” coach Edwards said. “They were running something out of the two tight set, they had an extra guy than we had defending and we just had to move a guy down and adjust to that.”

Herard felt the performance of himself and his team was huge despite the rain that tried to hinder the Eagles.

“It was huge, (and) I had fun,” Herard said. “That is what it is all about – going out and have fun.”