DALLAS -- The Mildred Eagle offense put on a show with Creed Baker accounting for five touchdowns, including four through the air and one on the ground while Bishop Harris turned in another three touchdown performance and the Mildred Eagles blitzed the Dallas Gateway Gators 58-27 Friday night in Dallas to improve to 2-0 in the district race.
The Eagle defense came out flat allowing the Gators to score three times in the first half before tightening down in the second allowing a single score. One of the biggest moments for the Eagle defense was in the second half when Gateway quarterback Latravion Lake found Courtney Montgomery for a 27-yard pass. Montgomery raced to the 5-yard line where Sammy Bustos finally pushed him out of bounds giving the Gators first and goal at the Eagle 5-yard line. The Eagle defense stiffened with Trey Atkeisson sacking Lake on the first down. The Eagles then forced two incompletions setting up a fourth-and-goal on the 16.
The Eagles were able to slam Lake for a 1-yard gain, giving the ball back to the Eagles. The Eagles responded with a 10-play drive finished with a 9-yard passing touchdown from Baker to Gage St. Clair.
The Eagles tightened up on both sides of the ball and showed glimpses that their passing game has good potential.
Gateway proved to be a tough opponent and started out hot taking the opening drive and marching down the field before scoring on an 8-yard pass from Lake.
The Eagles answered with a quick drive on their own when Harris found the end zone from 11 yards out. The Eagles forced the Gators to punt on their subsequent drive.
The Eagles took over on their 11-yard line and embarked on a 13-play drive finishing with a 6-yard rushing touchdown by Baker. The Gators fought back scoring again when Lake tossed a 30-yard TD pass.
Mildred kept the scoring going after the Gator touchdown when Harris scored on a 14-yard touchdown run. The Gators looked like they were going to score again, but the Eagles forced a fumble and took the ball over at their 22-yard line.
A few plays later, Baker found Sammy Bustos who broke a tackle then raced the Gator secondary for a 73-yard touchdown. The Gators refused to give up, scoring their third TD of the night on a 26-yard touchdown pass which ended the scoring for the first half.
The Eagle offense started a little slow to open the second half when the Gators were able to recover an Eagle fumble in Eagle territory, but the defense cracked down, forcing the Gators to punt.
Baker and the Eagle passing attack then torched the Gator defense when Baker found Bustos for his second touchdown reception of the evening from 32 yards out. The Eagle defense forced another Gator punt, which set up a 41-yard touchdown pass from Baker to Daniel Ayers.
On the subsequent Gator drive, the Eagles forced the Gators to turn the ball over on downs after the Gators drove to the Eagle 5-yard line. The Eagle passing attack struck again when Baker found Gage St. Clair in the endzone for a 9-yard touchdown pass.
The Eagle defense forced the Gators to punt the ball. The Eagles were unable to capitalize, however. Bustos punted the ball deep and the Eagle coverage team was able to pen the Gators at their own 10-yard line. All this was for naught however when the Gators broke away for a 90-yard touchdown.
The Eagles were able to answer back on their final drive when Harris broke away for a 34-yard rushing touchdown. The Gators were unable to answer and the Eagles ran out the clock to seal the win.
The Eagles have shown glimpses of their passing attack, but have not been forced to rely on it. This was the first game where they showed what they were capable of passing to go along with an outstanding rushing attack. The Eagle offense is proving to be a juggernaut.
The Eagle defense again struggled at times, while playing really well at other times. They came up with some big stops to change momentum and had several near interceptions to go along with three sacks.
The Eagle offense came alive with 643 yards and eight touchdowns. Players with outstanding games for the Eagles include Baker who threw for 237 yards passing and four touchdowns and 140 yards rushing with one touchdown.
Bustos had a great game with 148 yards receiving with two touchdowns, and a 43-yard punt to pin the Gators at their 10-yard line to go along with two PATS.
Harris turned in another outstanding game with 225 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
The Gators played well but wore down as the game went on. Courtney Washington and Lake each had outstanding games frustrating the Eagle defenders.
The Eagles are 5-0, but the Eagle schedule will get much harder over the next few weeks as they continue into the meat of their schedule.
Coach Dalton emphasized how the Eagles still have room for improvement.
“We came out not ready to play. We will learn from it and things will get better from here on out," Dalton said. "I am proud of the way our guys rallied up in the second half giving up just the one touchdown in the second half. We really threw the ball well tonight. We knew we could, we have just not had to do it. I am proud of the guys and we have to get ready for a big game against Palmer next week.”
The Eagles play host to Palmer next week in a huge district matchup between undefeated teams, while the Gators travel to Edgewood.