For most of the season, ESD used fast starts to put its opponents on their heels. But on Friday, the Eagles were the ones playing from behind.
ESD’s hopes of an unbeaten season ended when Bellaire Episcopal ran to an early advantage and held off the Eagles 35-14 at Jones Family Stadium.
The win gives the Knights (5-2, 3-0) sole possession of first place in the SPC South Division with two games left in the regular season. Episcopal used three rushing touchdowns from Preston Heard to establish a 21-7 lead at the half, and the Eagles (6-1, 2-1) never caught up.
The Knights rolled up 497 yards of total offense against an ESD defense that had been stingy during its six-game winning streak. James McCartney finished with 224 rushing yards and a score for Episcopal.
Meanwhile, ESD managed just one yard rushing as a team and tried to rally using the arm of Thomas Fitts. He threw for 320 yards, including touchdowns to Blake Morrison and Nakeie Montgomery. The scoring pass to Montgomery covered 84 yards late in the third quarter.
Jack Johnson, who entered the game with more than 700 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, was limited to 22 yards on five carries with no touchdowns on Friday.
ESD will try to regroup next week when it travels to face defending SPC champion Houston Kinkaid.
Other results this week:
Jesuit 56, Irving 29
The high-powered offense four the Rangers (4-2, 2-1) racked up 603 yards, including 431 yards passing and five touchdowns for Bo Schneider, and 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Matt Slovak. Garrett Amy had seven catches for 153 yards and a score as Jesuit pulled away late from the winless Tigers (0-6, 0-3).
St. Mark’s 47, FW Trinity Valley 19
The Lions (4-3, 3-2) surged into SPC contention with their biggest offensive game of the season, led by quarterback Matthew Placide, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for two others. Justin Jones also rushed for 161 yards and a score as St. Mark’s took a 34-0 lead and held the Trojans (4-4, 1-4) to minus-12 yards rushing.
Hillcrest 30, Bryan Adams 20
Arico Evans rushed for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and also threw a scoring pass, as the Panthers (5-1, 2-1) remained in contention for a playoff spot in 11-5A. Hillcrest rushed for 368 yards as a team, with Gkarri McCoy and Makell Haley adding touchdowns. The Cougars (2-4, 1-2) kept the game close but never led.
W.T. White 57, Sunset 7
After trailing early, the Longhorns (4-2, 2-1) erupted with 30 second-quarter points and dominated Sunset the rest of the way. Jackson Fults rushed for two touchdowns and threw for two more to lead White, which stayed in playoff contention in 9-6A. The Bison (1-5, 0-3) failed to complete a pass and lost their fifth straight game.
FW Nolan Catholic 36, Trinity Christian 29
The Vikings (2-4, 1-2) made a goal-line stand to stop a TCA drive in the final minute and held on to win a matchup of struggling traditional TAPPS powerhouses. Nolan led throughout, but the Trojans (2-4, 0-3) remained within striking distance before suffering their third straight loss. TCA is still winless in TAPPS district play