East Bladen’s reworked offense racked up 380 rushing yards and 456 total yards as the Eagles rolled to a 35-7 Four County Conference victory Friday night over Heide Trask at Rocky Point.
Junior Kyle Tatum made his third consecutive start in the Eagle backfield and carried 24 times for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sophmore Bernard Robinson rushed 15 times for 112 yards and a touchdown in his first start at halfback.
“We are trying to get by until we can get some people healthy,” said Eagle Coach Robby Priest. “We got Nikita (Owens) back, and Eian (Hines) was cleared to play, but with the condition of the field, we didn’t want to chance it.”
Sophmore Xavia McDowell started for the second time at fullback and gained 84 yards on 14 rushes. “X (Xavia) blocked his butt off,” said Coach Priest. “He had some good runs and played good defense. He is really growing up out there.”
Senior Alex Coates completed his first two passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Coates finished 2 for 5 passing.
The Eagles marched 77 yards in 10 plays on their second possession of the game to take a 7-0 lead. Tatum darted 22 yards on a counter play, and McDowell barreled through the line for 22 more.
Robinson scooted 16 yards to the one, and Tatum banged across the line for the touchdown. Junior Jesus Ramos booted the conversion with 2:30 left in the quarter.
After forcing another 3-and-out, East Bladen covered 71 yards in 7 plays to pad the lead to 14-0. Tatum bolted up the middle for 16 yards, before Robinson dashed 27 yards off left tackle for the touchdown. Ramos added the extra point kick 9:22 before halftime.
The teams traded fumbles with sophmore Sincere Smith pouncing on the Trask fumble at the Eagle 42 yardline. Robinson picked up an Eagle first down, before senior quarterback Alex Coates found Smith behind the defense with a 45-yard touchdown pass. Ramos tacked on the conversion for a 21-0 lead 4:23 before intermission.
Johnathan Jordan’s 18-yard run produced the first Trask first down of the game, but the Titan drive was stopped on downs at the East Bladen 28.
Coates connected with senior end Zachary Johnson on a 31-yard pass play, and McDowell bulled through the line for 16 yards as the Eagles drove to the Titan 8 yardline. However the drive stalled on downs at the Trask 10 on the last play of the half.
The Titans drove 90 yards in 5 plays to begin the second half. Senior quarterback Tynaffitt Davis hurled a 57-yard pass to junior Zenas Ward, then scrambled 18 yards for the touchdown. Senior Jesus Perez kicked the extra point to close the gap to 21-7 with 10:06 on the third period clock.
East Bladen answered with a 45-yard drive to the Trask 29, before being stopped on downs. On Trask’s next play, East Bladen’s Michael Walter scooped up a Titan fumble and returned it 4 yards to the 25. Four plays later Tatum crashed into the end zone from a yard out for the touchdown. Ramos converted the point for a 28-7 lead with 1:28 left in the quarter.
Trask junior Chris Holmes snatched a tipped pass out of the air and completed a 24-yard gain to the Eagle 17. However a penalty and a 5-yard loss ended the drive at the East Bladen 27.
On the first play of the next Trask possession, McDowell picked up a Titan fumble and returned the ball 24 yards to the Trask 27 yardline. Five plays later Tatum carried 2 yards for the final Eagle touchdown. Ramos tacked on the point for a 35-7 lead with 5:15 remaining in the game.
Tatum recovered his own on-side kick-off to give the Eagles the ball at the Trask 47, but the drive stalled at the 29.
“The defense played really well, except for the long pass and the tipped ball,” said Coach Priest. Those two plays accounted for 81 of the Titans total of 165 yards of offense.
The Eagles improved to 3-1 in the league and 7-1 overall. East Bladen hosts Wallace-Rose Hill next Friday.
East Bladen 7 –14 – 7– 7– 35
Heide Trask 0 – 0 — 7 – 0 – 7
EB –Kyle Tatum 1 run (Jesus Ramos kick)
EB – Bernard Robinson 27 run (Ramos kick)
EB – Sincere Smith 45 pass from Alex Coates (Ramos kick)
HT – Tynaffitt Davis 18 run (Jesus Perez kick)
EB – Tatum 1 run (Ramos kick)
EB – Tatum 2 run (Ramos kick)
Rushing: EB – Tatum 24-149, Robinson 15-112, McDowell 14-84, Michael Walter 4-15, Zach Johnson 4-11, Nikita Owens 1-6, C. J. Murphy 1-5, Smith 2- (-2); HT – Davis 8-31, Steven Jordan 9-29, Johnathan Jordan 3-29, Lanardius Holmes 3- (-2).
Passing: EB – Coates 2-5-0, 76; HT – Davis 4-16-0, 78, J. Jordan 0-1-0.
Receiving: EB– Johnson 1-31, Smith 1-45.
Records: East Bladen 3-1, 7-1; Heide Trask 0-4, 1-7.
Next Game: Wallace-Rose Hill at East Bladen; Heide Trask at Midway.
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