By Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel
FALKNER – Jase Stroupe accounted for five touchdowns – two rushing and three passing – to lead the Falkner Eagles, the No. 2 ranked team in the Daily Journal’s Class 2A/1A poll to a commanding 50-0 victory over the Benton County Buccaneers on Friday night.
With the win, the Eagles are 3-0 to start a season for the first time since 2003. They’ve won 12 of their last 13 games under second-year head coach Ben Ashley.
“I think it’s a pretty big deal because it creates some momentum as we start division,” said Ashley. “Our kids are confident and when you confident you play better.”
Stroupe led the Eagles on a seven-play 50-yard drive, capped with his 1-yard quarterback keeper on their first drive of the game. On the first play of their next possession, he found a wide-open Deniko Adams for a 26-yard TD pass and a 13-0 lead with 6:21 to play in the first quarter.
Stroupe didn’t have big numbers. He finished with 33 yards passing and just 51 passing, but he was effective. His second rushing touchdown put Falkner ahead 21-0.
He connected with Jarrett Walden for a 24-yard strike and Tyler Windsor with a 1-yard TD pass in the third quarter, putting the Eagles ahead 42-0 after three.
I’ve been working here for two years and I don’t think he’s talked to me,” Ashley said jokingly of Stroupe’s soft-spoken attitude. “He just leads by throwing his body into it I’m just tickled to death that he’s my quarterback.”
The Eagles’ defense held Benton County (1-2), a second-year co-op team comprised of players from Ashland and Hickory Flat, to 71 yards of total offense, including minus-4 yards rushing.
First-year Benton County coach Eric Rice said the score doesn’t tell the story of how hard his young program played.
“I told them they fought hard,” said Rice. “Anyone that sees the score in the paper is going to think we got blew out, but anybody that was at the game will see we fought hard all the way.”
Jeramie Lawrence led Falkner with 139 yards and added one score.