After struggling in opening losses to Whitwell and Middle Tennessee Christian, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy broke into the win column with a 13-6 victory at Oakdale Friday.
The Saints defense was the difference in the game with impressive goal-line stands at the end of the first half and at the end of the game.
After a scoreless first quarter where both teams moved the ball consistently, Saints running back Elliot Lee scored mid-way through the second period.
The Eagles of Oakdale, behind the passing of quarterback Aaron Powers and the running of Logan Cox, appeared ready to even the score as they moved near the Saints goal line at the close of the half. It was there that the Saints defense held the Eagles in check recovering a Powers fumble to end the half with a 7-0 lead.
As in the first half, both teams had little trouble moving the ball up and down the field even though there were no scores in the third period. Saints running back Noah Wilson had well over 100 yards rushing by midway of the fourth quarter before going out of action with an injury. However, Elliot Lee, scored his second touchdown of the night with 4:15 remaining in the game but the Saints missed the extra point attempt leaving the score at 13-0. That is when things got really exciting.
The Eagles took the ensuing kickoff and quickly moved into Saints territory. An interception of a long Oakdale pass by Landon Boyd appeared to seal the win for MJCA. However, the Saints fumbled just two plays later and the Eagles quickly scored cutting the deficit to 13-6 with 2:15 remaining. Oakdale then executed an on-side kick recovering the ball at the Saints 45 yard line. A pass interference call on the Saints set the Eagles up deep in MJCA territory with 1:20 remaining. As they did at the close of the first half, the Saints defense stiffened to hold Oakdale out of the end zone on four consecutive plays to give Head Coach Jake Roberts and the Saints their first win of the year.
The Saints travel to Ezell Harding next Friday for their first region game of the year. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.