Eagles Beat Pinewood in Home Opener

Although new Head Football Coach Mark Farriba installed a head-turning Wing-T offense this season, it was the Eagles’ defense that proved decisive in Stratford’s 27-6 victory in its home opener against Pinewood Christian Academy on Friday, Sept. 6.

The defense held the Patriots scoreless in the first half, and allowed only one touchdown in the 4th quarter when the Eagles were already up by two scores.

“They got them off the field and that’s their job,” Farriba said of the defense. “Their job is to get the offense off the field and not give up points. However that happens, I’m good.”

But the offense got off to an anemic start, scoring just one touchdown in the first half on a run by senior quarterback John Mitchell.

“The biggest thing that we are not doing very well right now is understanding assignments and really being very secure in all of our assignments: whether it’s lineman, backs, or whoever. So we tend right now to stop ourselves more than the other team stopping us,” Farriba said.

The offense remembered its primary assignment in the second half, sending junior Conner Corbitt on a 24-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter.

At the beginning of the 4th quarter, Pinewood quarterback D.J. Johnson finally cracked the Stratford defense, completing a 67-yard touchdown pass to Brenley Hagan, but the Patriots failed to make a two-point conversion.

Mitchell responded with two more scores to put the game away, running one touchdown into the endzone himself and adding a second on a pass to senior Douglas Bradley.

“I liked the fact that we sort of answered every time that they did something well,” Farriba said. “We’re a team that knows how to finish. And all of us need to pay attention to detail more – including the coach.”

The Eagles went into the game with several of their starters nursing injuries, most notably fullback and linebacker Thomas Williams, who was sidelined for six weeks after breaking his collarbone in the Westwood game on Aug. 29.

Junior Conner Corbitt stepped up to fill Williams’ shoes, rushing for 120 rushing yards and a touchdown.

“It doesn’t really affect the game plan because we’re gonna do what we do. It just puts the next guy in and everybody else has to help pull a little harder on the rope. We’re not changing. We’re going to do what we do. Somebody is going to step in and everybody else is going to have to pull harder,” Farriba said.