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Football East Bladen 20, Midway 6

East Bladen High SchoolEast Bladen’s Eagles overcame a slow start and rode a staunch defense to a 20-6 victory over Midway Monday night in the Four County Conference opener for both teams at Spivey’s Corner.

The East Bladen defense held the Raiders to only 56 yards rushing and 67 total yards on 33 offensive snaps. The Eagles had 3 sacks in the game for minus 22 yards and 6 more tackles-for-loss for another minus 13 yards.

“That’s more like the kind of defense that we are used to here,” said Eagle Coach Robby Priest. “They don’t give up much.”

Neither team could muster much offense in the first quarter, but Midway won the field position battle. After the Eagles were forced to punt from their own end zone, the Raiders took possession at the East Bladen 38.

Seven plays later the Raiders were in the end zone via Terrell McGee’s 5-yard touchdown run. The extra point was blocked keeping the Midway lead at 6-0 with 10:58 left in the first half.

“The game started like a fifth-grade fight,” said Coach Priest. “One was scared and the other one was glad of it. Not playing Friday and no practice on Saturday and Sunday, it was like a bye week.”

Following the Midway score, the Eagles responded with a 65-yard drive in 8 plays. Junior Eian Hines ignited the march with a 16-yard run, then broke several tackles on a 34-yard gallop. The ball popped loose near the end of that run, but senior end Zach Johnson dove on it at the Raider 4 yard line.

Junior Ethan Hines, Eian’s brother, rammed into the end zone from a yard out for the touchdown, and junior Jesus Ramos booted the extra point for a 7-6 East Bladen lead 7:32 before halftime.

On their next possession, the Eagles covered 67 yards in ten plays behind the running of senior fullback Nikita Owens and junior Kyle Tatum who had replaced Eian Hines when Hines turned an ankle. However a third down East Bladen pass from the Raider 13 was intercepted in the end zone by Midway’s J. D. Lockamy.

The Eagles marched 37 yards on their first possession of the second half, but were stopped on downs at the Raider 21 yard line.

Two plays after a short Midway punt gave the Eagles the ball at the Raider 45, Tatum squirted through a hole off right tackle and dashed 39 yards for an Eagle touchdown. The conversion kick was wide right and East led 13-6 with 3:46 remaining in the third quarter.

On the third play of the final quarter, Eagle sophomore Xavia McDowell pounced on a Midway fumble at the East Bladen 43 yard line. Three plays later, Ethan Hines bolted 52 yards straight up the middle for the final Eagle touchdown. Ramos added the conversion for a 20-6 lead with 9:13 left in the game.

Senior defensive end Chris Cromartie sacked the Midway quarterback for an 11-yard loss to start the next Raider possession. The Raiders eventually turned the ball over on downs at their own 43.

East Bladen moved 42 yards in 8 plays and reached the Raider one yard line before being stopped on downs with 3:04 on the clock.

Ethan Hines rushed for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries, and Owens carried 11 times for 90 yards. Tatum finished with 84 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushes, and Eian Hines totaled 71 yards on 7 attempts.

“Balance is what we strive for,” said Coach Priest. “When they take something away from us, we try to exploit something else. Kyle gave us a lift. He runs hard, and is one of our hardest workers in the weight room. We held Eian out of the second half as a precautionary measure.”

East Bladen racked up 330 yards rushing for the game.

Scoring Summary
East Bladen    0 – 7 – 6 – 7– 20
Midway           0 – 6 – 0 –  0 – 6

Mid.–Terrell McGee 5 run (kick blocked)
EB – Ethan Hines 1 run (Jesus Ramos kick)
EB – Kyle Tatum 39 run (kick failed)
EB – Ethan Hines 52 run (Ramos kick)

Rushing: EB – Ethan Hines 22-90, Nikita Owens 11-90, Kyle Tatum 10-84, Eian Hines 7-71, Tyquan McMillian 3-(-5). Mid – McGee 10-32, Larry Blanks 6-17, Shaking Warren 5-17, Akinlabi Olanipekun 2-10, Austin Raynor 5-(-20).

Passing: EB – McMillian 0-1-1. Raynor 1-5-0, 11.

Receiving: Mid – Dylan Lee 1-11.

Records: East Bladen 1-0, 5-0; Midway 0-1, 4-1.

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