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usafootball13Xavier Wooten rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns to help East Bladen’s  Eagles overcome an early 12-point deficit and defeat the Clinton Dark Horses 42-30 Thursday night in Four County Conference jayvee football action at Lennon Fisher Stadium.

After stopping East Bladen on downs at the Clinton 46, the Dark Horses broke a 52 yard touchdown run on their second play from scrimmage.  A successful 2-point conversion made it  8-0 Clinton.

On their next possession, the Eagles mounted a ten play drive.  Wooten accounted for 30 rushing yards in the drive and plowed into the end zone from ten yards out for the first Eagle touchdown.  The 2-point conversion attempt failed, and Clinton led 8-6 with 1:50 remaining in the first quarter.

The Dark Horses scored on the fourth play of their next possession converting a 39-yard pass into a touchdown.  Clinton passed for the 2-point conversion and led 16-6 with 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

After two runs by the Eagles’ Trey Carter began the second period, quarterback Quinton Bedsole found wide receiver Shy Pone behind the defense.  Pone weaved through the defense making several tacklers miss on the way to a 57-yard touchdown pass play.  The conversion failed and Clinton maintained a 16-12 halftime lead.

Clinton started the second half with a ten-play touchdown drive. The TD came on a 6-yard run, and the 2-point conversion made it 24-12 Clinton.

On the ensuing kickoff, East Bladen’s Josh McKoy fielded the ball, cut left and outran the defense for a 72 yard touchdown.  Bedsole’s 2-point conversion pass to Wooten closed the gap to 24-20 with 7:16 on the third quarter clock.

Clinton answered with a 37-yard touchdown pass. The conversion failed, but the Dark Horses led 30-20 with 4:30 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles began their rally with an eight-play drive capped by Wooten bulling across the goalline from one yard out.  Bedsole connected with Wooten for the 2-point conversion pass that brought East to within 30-28 with 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

After stopping Clinton, the Eagles took over on their 30 yard line and eight plays later Bedsole tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Pone. Wooten ran the 2-point conversion to give the Eagles their first lead of the night at 36-30 with 6:03 left in the game.

On the third play of the next Clinton offensive series, the Horses threw a swing pass into the flat.  Linebacker Pierce Melvin stood up the receiver and stripped the football.  James Higgins recovered the loose ball to give the Eagles possession.

Five consecutive running plays by Wooten culminated in a one yard touchdown run.  The conversion failed and East Bladen led 42-30 with 47 seconds remaining to play.

East Bladen stopped Clinton on downs to end the game.

Higgins rushed 6 times for 26 yards, and Carter added 13 yards on 4 attempts. Bedsole completed 4 of 6 passes for 84 yards.

The Eagles held a 277-244 edge in total offense and held Clinton to zero yards on the Dark Horses final three possessions.

“They hit us hard in the first half but we stepped up and dominated in the second half.” said  Eagle Coach Ritchie Priest. “The offensive line did a great job, and the defense continued to get better as the game went on.  I told the players at halftime if they wanted it then they could win it.  Clinton is a really good team but I am proud of the way our team responded after being down and executing our system which led to a great victory.”

East Bladen is now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Four County Conference.

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