Canton senior quarterback Chandler Eiland threw an interception on his first pass attempt. He ended the game on the bench.
In between, Eiland ran and threw up and down the field to lead the Eagles to a 49-28 victory over Grace Community on Thursday night.
The game was the first of the Tyler Football Classic at All Saints' Mewbourne Field. Today, All Saints takes on Timpson at 7 p.m.
Eiland ran for four touchdowns and threw for two as the Louisiana-Monroe commit racked up 393 total yards, 204 of which came on the ground.
He overcame his early miscue when Andrew Cotton picked him off less than a minute in to complete 9 of 22 passes and lead the Eagles (1-0) to 527 yards of offense.
Grace led 21-14 after one quarter and took a 28-27 lead late in the third quarter before Eiland scored on runs of 3 and 56 yards to put the game away. Jordan Jackson, who had 119 yards rushing, sealed the game with a 55-yard run with 2:02 to play, allowing Eiland to watch the remainder from the sidelines.
Zach Tatman led Grace with 200 total yards, 189 rushing and 11 receiving. He scored on a 47-yard run to cap a back-and-forth first frame.
The Cougars, who start the season 0-1 for the first time in seven years, totaled 318 yards but couldn't stop Eiland.
Eiland got Canton on the board with a 36-yard pass to Tre Fitzgerald and added a 26-yard score to Garrett Denbow on the next drive. On both scores, the receiver outjumped his defender to prevent an interception and score at the same time.
Grace's Jonny Spitzer had a 7-yard touchdown run and caught an 8-yard score from Chandler Nutt, but was limited in the second half due to an injury. Nutt, a senior quarterback, finished 10 for 22 for 80 yards through the air.
The Eagles went into the break leading 27-21 after Eiland's touchdown runs of 42 and 4 yards.
Canton 49, Grace Community 28
At Mewbourne Field
Canton 14 13 8 14 — 49
Grace 21 0 7 0 — 28
GRA—Jonny Spitzer 7 run (Christian Hooper kick), 10:58.
CAN—Tre Fitzgerald 36 pass from Chandler Eiland (Dalton Fritcher kick), 9:50.
GRA—Spitzer 8 pass from Chandler Nutt (Hooper kick), 5:41.
CAN—Garrett Denbow 26 pass from Eiland (Fritcher kick), 2:47.
GRA—Zach Tatman 47 run (Hooper kick), 0:03.
CAN—Eiland 42 run (Fritcher kick), 9:48.
CAN—Eiland 4 run (kick fail), 5:13).
GRA—Parker Ary 13 pass from Chandler Nutt (Hooper kick), 4:42.
CAN—Eiland 3 run (Fritcher pass from Eiland), 0:32.
CAN—Eiland 56 run (Fritcher kick), 5:04.
CAN—Jordan Jackson 55 run (Fritcher kick), 2:02.
First Downs 20 17
Rushes-Yards 37-338 41-238
Passing Yards 189 80
Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-22-1 10-23-0
Punts-Avg. 3-40.0 5-35.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 3-20 6-38
RUSHING—Canton, Chandler Eiland 18-204, Jordan Jackson 13-119, LaDarius Coffey 6-15. Grace, Zach Tatman 23-189, Chandler Nutt 15-42, Adam Graham 1-5, Jonny Spitzer 2-2.
PASSING—Canton, Eiland 9-22-1—189. Grace, Nutt 10-22-0—80, Chris Wilhelmi 0-1-0—0.
RECEIVING—Canton, Brazos Hesskew 4-102, Garrett Denbow 3-42, Tre Fitzgerald 1-36, Logan Nace 1-10. Grace, Parker Ary 3-27, Spitzer 2-26, Tatman 2-11, Mason Dacus 1-8, Wilhelmi 1-5, Russell Waterman 1-3.