Prep Football: East downs Providence Grove for 2-0 start
The East Davidson Golden Eagles wasted no time making a statement Friday in their game against Providence Grove.
Nathan Campbell caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Austin Wallace to conclude a seven-play, 72-yard opening drive for the Eagles. That was the first of five touchdowns on the night, and East dispatched the Patriots easily, 36-3.
“They’ve got a very young football team. We’ve got a veteran team,” said East coach Vance Hanner. “Our conditioning was a big difference in the second half. That has been our focus the last couple weeks, conditioning, so we can wear teams down.”
Wallace – who finished with 109 passing yards – was 2-for-3 on his first possession and hooked up with Michael Ramos for a 30-yard strike to set up the score. Campbell added the 2-point conversion to put East up 8-0 just two minutes into the game.
The passing game was able to provide the spark early that ignited the group, but it was the running game that broke things open in the second half. Leading 8-3, the Eagles emerged from the locker room a different group.
Providence Grove began the third quarter with a 54-yard kickoff return that gave the team excellent field position. Two plays later, however, a snap sailed over quarterback Furious Sutton’s head, costing the Patriots 21 yards and a promising drive.
Two plays later, Ramos broke a 64-yard touchdown run with 8:21 remaining in the third to extend East’s lead to 15-3. On the next Providence Grove possession, tailback Tanner Breedlove’s fumble allowed the Eagles to begin yet another possession in their opponent’s territory. Bryce Bolen made the score 22-3 with a 1-yard TD run.
Bolen finished the contest with 14 carries for 98 yards, while his backfield partner Ramos had 12 carries, 123 yards and a pair of scores. Even Wallace got in on the ground game, scoring on a 7-yard TD run. The constant throughout the game, however, was the play of an outstanding defensive unit that is improved from last season.
The Eagles’ defense limited Providence Grove to just 29 total yards from scrimmage.
“It helps to have nine guys back [on defense], and just to be honest with you, our kids are tired of getting beat,” Hanner said. “They decided in the offseason to commit themselves to getting better. With nine starters back on defense, we’ve got to lean on that defense. We did that in the first half tonight, and they did a great job.”
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.