EUPORA – In a game that looked like it was going to be an offensive explosion early, the Eupora defense stepped up and dictated the rest of the contest.
The Eupora Eagles (4-0) beat the West Oktibbeha Timberwolves (2-1) 41-10 Thursday night at Wafford Field.
Tiberias Lampkin busted a 70-yard run on the first play of scrimmage for the Timberwolves. One play later Von Smith found Kelsey Jefferson for a 5-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead.
Eupora answered right back with an 18-yard strike from Trey Pittman to Derrick Jones to tie the game.
"It was gigantic as far as us maintaining a pace with them," Eupora head coach Junior Graham said. "They can score so quickly because of their skilled people. It put us back on a level field again."
West Oktibbeha drove the ball down the field but had to settle for a 21-yard Donovan Henderson field goal to reclaim the lead at 10-7.
On the next Eagle drive, Pittman found Jones for a 55-yard pass to set Eupora up on the Timberwolf 6-yard line. Vandy Smith punched it in from 3 yards out to give the Eagles a 14-10 lead after one quarter.
Each defense stepped up in the second quarter and the game settled down. The score stayed at 14-10 at halftime.
"We added one more guy to the box at halftime," Graham said. "We changed our secondary coverage and we knew we had stop the run."
West Oktibbeha took a big blow when Lampkin went down with cramps on the opening kickoff of the second half. He did not return.
Eupora started its second drive from the Timberwolf 27-yard line and Smith found a crease and scored on a 24-yard run to make it 21-0.
West Oktibbeha did not go away and found themselves with a fourth down and 10 from the Eagles' 11-yard line, but an incomplete pass by Smith led to a turnover on downs.
Eupora marched down the field and capped off the play with a 5-yard rushing touchdown by Javoris Draine to make it 28-10.
Draine followed that up with a 1-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 34-10.
Draine busted a 75-yard run late in the fourth quarter to end the scoring.
Eupora is back at home next Friday when Calhoun City comes calling for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
West Oktibbeha returns home next Friday for a meeting with Nanih Waiya. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.