Prep Football: East swats Jackets in 17-0 shutout
A pregame rain shower left the playing surface at East Davidson Community Stadium in poor condition Friday night, making the prospects of gaining one’s footing a challenge.
Nathan Campbell had no such difficulty. Campbell ran for a pair of scores and grabbed one of East’s four interceptions to help the Golden Eagles overcome a sloppy start to notch a 17-0 shutout of the Lexington Yellowjackets.
After both teams opened the game with three-and-outs on their first possessions, the Eagles sustained a lengthy drive which culminated in a 22-yard field goal by Salvador Pecina to make the score 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Campbell, Bryce Bolen and quarterback Austin Wallace kept the chains – and clock – moving while helping the Eagles control the clock throughout. Campbell led East (8-2, 2-2 Central Carolina 2-A) with 135 yards rushing on 20 carries and Bolen recorded 123 yards of his own.
Wallace only threw eight passes Friday, but managed the game effectively and completed a 28-yard strike to Justin Wood, who made a spectacular grab to extend one of East’s successful drives.
Despite 323 total yards of offense, the Eagles could not capitalize on scoring opportunities in the first half. Pecina hooked his second field goal attempt wide left from 24 yards out at the end of another lengthy drive that bogged down in the red zone, leaving East with a slim 3-0 halftime lead.
Fortunately for the Eagles, their defense had little difficulty containing the Yellowjackets (1-9, 1-3 CCC). On the rare occasions Lexington advanced past midfield, a turnover ensued. Campbell, Tyler Rhodes, Toby Craven and Nick Bolen all had interceptions for East.
Rhodes’ interception off a pass from Raekwon Byrd midway through the third quarter inside the 10 that brought Lexington’s most promising drive to a close.
The offense finally broke through with an 11-yard touchdown run by Campbell with 8:04 remaining in the third quarter. That gave East its first touchdown and put the home team out front, 10-0. On the Eagles’ next possession, he zipped around the outside for a 7-yard scoring run to extend the lead to 17-0.