Prep Football: Eagles overpower South, 44-0
Whatever nerves East Davidson's Vance Hanner may have felt before his head coaching debut Friday night, were quickly calmed by a dominant performance from his bunch.
Accumulating 384 yards of offense with 308 coming on the ground, the Golden Eagles controlled tempo and the front line en route to a season-opening 44-0 blowout of South Davidson at Briggs Stadium. Bryce Bolen finished with two touchdowns in racking up 108 yards on three carries. Michael Ramos added 94 yards on six carries and a score.
South pinned themselves deep with a botched snap on the first possession and were forced to punt. East took over at the 38 of the Wildcats and scored in a minute's time. Ramos took the handoff at the 26, hitting the near sideline and plowing through a defender at the 3 before stepping into the end zone. The extra point failed leaving it 6-0.
Another quick three-and-out by the Wildcats set up another punt. Ramos returned the ball 75 yards to paydirt, but the yellow hanky that appeared frequently in the first quarter was down on the field. Bolen had no problem with the flag, taking the ensuing handoff 63 yards for his first score of the season. Again the PAT failed, but EDHS pushed the lead to 12-0 with six minutes left.
South quarterback Billy Caulder, along with tailback Preston Owens, tried to keep the Wildcats in it as the two leading offensive threats. But a pair of turnovers over the next two drives gave East more opportunities and that was bad news.
On the first giveaway, Bolen zig-zagged down the sideline in between defenders for his second TD.
With the run game looking like a well oiled machine, East tried its hand at passing. That worked pretty well, too. Austin Wallace connected with Kelvin Pena on consecutive 38-yard scoring passes. With two Andrew Hoosier extra points added on, East led 34-0.
Just before the half Salavador Pecina booted a 30-yard field, adding the final touches to a dominant first half that saw EDHS rack up 254 rushing yards.
“I was very pleased with the effort,” said Hanner. “Both Bolen and Ramos ran very hard for us. When we had to pass the ball early, we threw it and had some success. Those are the things we have got to do.”
Hoosier turned over his kicking duties to play in the backfield second half. He took advantage of the chance given, plunging in from a yard out for the only score of the second half.
The Eagle defense barely allowed South breathing room, holding them to 94 total yards on offense.
East can enjoy victory for now, but will have a tougher task next week when they host Providence Grove.
“I would say the next two games are the biggest of our season,” Hanner said. “Our kids need early confidence, and if we could pull out a win in one or both of those weeks, the mindset starts to change.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.