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For the third year in a row, the Eaton football team has won the 2A state championship

Abiah Randel, Staff Reporter

The two-time 2A League 3 state champs have done it once again. The Reds have just won their third state title in three years. The Reds had a dominant regular season as well as the postseason, taking only one loss to The Classical Academy. The single loss in the season had very little effect on the team, besides making them the number two seed in playoffs. The team was able to rise to every challenge they faced throughout the season, including the state championship game against the Delta Panthers.

The number two-ranked Reds took a 21-10 win over the Delta Panthers, who were seeded at the number one spot. Both teams had trouble finding the endzone for three-fourths of the first quarter, but with four minutes remaining in the quarter, the Reds got on the board with a forty-yard pass from quarterback Walker Martin (23) to wide receiver Austin Martinez (23). Towards the end of the second quarter, quarterback Walker Martin ran the ball to the back of the endzone making the score 14-0. After the second touchdown, the Reds didn’t relax because Delta was hot on their tails and scored a touchdown to make the score 14-7 going into the second half.

After halftime, the tempo of the game was the same for both teams, but the Reds let the Panthers have a field goal to make it a four-point game. The Reds continued to fight to maintain the lead, which they were able to do. The score was 14-10 until two minutes were remaining in the fourth quarter and Morgan Tribbett (23) made his way to the endzone on a handoff. This touchdown sealed the win for the Reds.

The Reds had a massive crowd to cheer them on throughout the game to where it felt like a home game. A lot of the community came out to support the team, including some of the students from the elementary level to the high school level. After winning the game, the Reds had a three-hour bus ride home, which ended with a welcome home by the police department, fire trucks, community members, and lots of fireworks.

Senior Morgan Tribbett played a massive role in the Reds’ win over the Delta Panthers. As a senior, he has been a part of all three of the Reds’ state championships in the past three years and has played significant roles in all of the wins for the Reds. Tribbett is a very diverse player as he played running back for the majority of the game for the Reds. He normally plays as a fullback or as a middle linebacker. Tribbett said, “It feels great to win the 3rd state title. Not a lot of programs have been able to win three in a row, so to be able to accomplish it and join those elite programs is pretty surreal.” What the Reds were able to accomplish is a rare accomplishment, especially at the varsity level in high school. Tribbett said, “I knew this was my last opportunity in high school to do what I love, so I didn’t need any outside motivation. I just love the game.” His love for the game and knowing it was his last time to play with the boys he grew up with drove him to play at another level the night of the championship.

Sophomore Cole Foster, who transferred to Eaton at the end of last school year, was able to put the Reds jersey on for the first time. Foster got the chance to experience his first state championship as an Eaton Red with the football team. Even though Foster was on the sideline during the game, he is still just as much part of the team as everyone who got on the field that night. Foster said “It’s amazing. It’s been really fun and I’m glad to be a part of such a great set team and group of guys.”