By Kedrick Storey
OKOLONA – Falkner quarterback Jase Stroupe rushed for 143 yards and had two scores, and running back Jeramie Lawrence added 123 yards and three rushing touchdowns Thursday night to help the Eagles roll past the Houlka Wildcats, 38-13.
Falkner (3-2) improved to 2-0 in Division 1-1A for the first time since 2004.
“That was our goal,” said Falkner coach Cory Armstrong on remaining undefeated in league play. “We don’t want to lose a game in division. We control our on destiny and that’s how we want it.”
“It feels great to be 2-0 in division,” said Stroupe, a junior. “We’re rolling but we still have a few kinks to kick out. We can be good.”
The Eagles turned a Houlka fumble at the 12 yard line into a 1-yard sneak by Stroupe in the second quarter. Falkner added a second score on its next drive, a 13-yard scamper by Lawrence for a 13-0 halftime lead.
Houlka couldn’t take advantage of three first-half interceptions by Stroupe. After a 42-yard drive that died at the Falkner 26-yard line, the Waildcats managed just 83 total yards the rest of the way. They added two scores in the third quarter. A 1-yard TD by Quintavia Beaty made it 13-7 Falkner with 8:21 to play.
Falkner responded with a 22-yard score from Lawrence and a 27-yard interception return for a TD by cornerback Richard Green for a 26-7 advantage. Green intercepted Houlka QB Wyatt Esterly three times. He returned his final one 90 yards before being tackled inside the Houlka 10.
“Early we shot ourselves in the foot in the first half,” said Houlka coach Adam Gentry. “We responded in the third quarter to get it close, but it’s a process. We’re still building. We just have to get better.”
Stroupe completed seven passes for 126 yards and one score, a 13-yard strike to Adam Hearn early in the fourth quarter to push Falkner’s lead to 32-13. Stroupe, who also plays linebacker, added two sacks.