Warren Easton rallies for 25-19 overtime win at Ruston
To be prepared to play the top teams in the state in the playoffs, team look to prepare for the challenge by testing themselves against top competition.
Warren Easton has embraced the concept with no better example than their season opener Friday night. Making the trip to play Class 5A power Ruston, it was the ultimate early season test for the Eagles.
The result not only got a passing grade but an aced exam. Easton escaped with a thrilling 25-19 overtime win over the Bearcats at Hoss Garrett Stadium.
Ruston took a 19-6 lead but the Eagles were undaunted.
The Bearcats kicked off and recovered the opening kickoff and took full advantage of it.
Dyson Fields scored on a two-yard run to take a 6-0 lead but it was costly. The All-State running back was ejected from the game after incurring a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as the officiating crew determined that Fields was taunting.
Easton tied the game when Greg Donaldson raced 20 yards to make it 6-6 after a missed extra point.
After taking a 13-6 lead, Jaden Osborne connected with Percy Williams on a 38-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 19-6.
The Eagles charged back.
First, Greg Donaldson threw a touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 19-13 before Keddrick Connolly connected with Juwaun Johnson on a 15-yard touchdown pass to tie the game, forcing overtime.
In the extra period, Easton staged a goal-line stand, getting a huge stop at the one-yard line before Fred Robertson scored on a seven-yard run for the Eagles to secure the win.
Speaking on The Three Tailgaters Show on NASH ICON 106.1 FM Saturday morning, Eagles coach Jerry Phillips knew the moment was not too big for his team.
“We are a consistent winning program and we are kind of used to playing in those big games,” Phillips said. “Ruston is a big-time team with a great staff. We played both quarterbacks and Donaldson went down and Keddrick came in and won that game for us. Donaldson got hit pretty hard but he is going to be okay.”
The ejection of Fields certainly factored in the game.
“We want to play against the best,” Phillips said. “It is unfortunate that the young man got thrown out. Discipline is important. It is a teaching moment. They will always catch the second guy. You just have to stay away from being too emotional. Things happen in the moment with teens.”
The challenge grows even more for Easton as the Eagles host defending Division I state champion Catholic High of Baton Rouge Friday night at Pan American Stadium.
“These are the games that fans want to see,” Phillips said. “It’s hard to schedule when you are consistently good. Catholic is an elite team. We don’t know about the playoffs yet. We might end up playing them in the playoffs. Who knows? We look forward to the challenge.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…