It was not too long ago that all the Crawford County football team wanted was a win.
After losing 40 straight games, the Eagles played a non-region schedule and found some wins the past two years, including an 8-2 record a year ago.
But heading into the 2016 season, the question remained if that success would lead to wins when they headed back into region play.
Those questions have been answered, as the Eagles are 3-0, and they are coming off a 27-26 road win over GHSA Region 4B-1A foe Hawkinsville.
“I don’t think our success so far is that crazy at all,” said head coach Greg Street, whose team hosts Taylor County on Friday night in another sub-region showdown. “These kids have done everything we have asked of them and more, and I am blessed to have an outstanding coaching staff.
“Growing a program is a process, and winning football games is a huge part of that process.”
The Hawkinsville game was a true test for Crawford County. It trailed 14-0 at the half but forced the game into overtime when it scored with four minutes left in the game. Nick Jackson scored in overtime and kicked the extra point to make it 27-20. Hawkinsville came back to score and decided to go for two, but the Eagles’ defense got the stop for the win.
“We were more than excited,” Street said. “We go to Hawkinsville, a team rich in football tradition, and we give up two long passes for touchdowns in the first half and didn’t do anything offensively. But we made some adjustments and just continued to fight. I feel like this win is just another stepping stone for this football team, and we are starting to find our identity.”
Crawford County is led by running backs Quin Penamon (248 yards rushing), Nick Jackson (159 yards rushing) and James Jackson (146 yards rushing), but Penamon is questionable for Friday’s game. The Eagles also have shown the ability to throw the ball with sophomore quarterback Alex Henton passing for 313 yards and seven touchdowns.
What really gets Street excited is his defense, especially the group up front.
“I would put Adam Morris, KaShawn Baker, Keyshawn Prince, Jamorris Pickard and and Derick Smith up against anyone,” Street said. “We feel like that is a huge strength for this football team, and they will have to continue to play well for us to be successful.”
Taylor County will not be an easy opponent. The Vikings (3-1, 0-1 Region 4B-1A) are led by Lyn-J Dixon, who has 766 rushing yards. He had 313 yards against Terrell County and 287 against Central-Talbotton but was held to 40 yards in a loss to Macon County last week.
“Taylor County is a very good football team, and we had better be prepared to tackle Dixon, “Street said. “They are an established football program, and two years ago, people knew how this game would go. But I think we have people in the community starting to believe in us, and they are a little bit curious.
“We are expecting the largest crowd we have had in a long time, and as a football team, we can’t wait for the challenge.”