Eagles defense holds off Barons

Published 8:20 pm Monday, September 26, 2016

The Prince Edward County High School varsity football team’s second win of the season came Friday night, and it came a bit differently than its first.

A potent offense was the highlight of the Eagles’ season-opening road victory, but their defense was the primary star of Friday’s 14-6 win at Bluestone High School.

“Bluestone’s a very good team,” Prince Edward Head Coach James Ford said. “They’re very athletic, and we were able, defensively, to limit their big plays, which helped tremendously.”

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In a 38-15 road victory against Randolph-Henry High School the week prior, the Barons used pass plays of 50 and 51 yards to help pull away.

But in a game he described as a grind-’em-out contest where teams put points on the board anyway they could, Ford was pleased with the play of his defenders Friday against Bluestone and its senior quarterback Tevarius Brooks.

“They flew around, they contained that really, really good quarterback, and they were able to basically pitch a shutout ‘til the fourth quarter,” Ford said.

Their success led to good field position for the Eagles offense, which produced all of its points in the second quarter.

On offense, “we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot,” Ford said. “We put together some drives and were able to play on their side of the field.”

Prince Edward took a 7-0 lead after senior Joel Thomas got the ball to senior Bryan Moses on a 26-yard touchdown pass.

Later in the quarter, the Barons had a punt blocked when their kicker accidentally kicked the ball into the back of one of his blockers. Eagles sophomore James Morgan recovered the ball around the Bluestone 4-yard line, and shortly thereafter, junior Aneal Walker scored from there on a run.

After a back-and-forth third quarter, the Barons scored a touchdown early in the fourth to put themselves within a touchdown and 2-point conversion of a tie, but the Eagles defense made sure Brooks and the Bluestone offense would not reach the end zone again.

“He wasn’t able to get comfortable in that final drive,” Ford said of Brooks.

Outside of the blocked punt recovery, Prince Edward’s defense did not accrue turnovers, but it played solidly and routinely put the Barons in punting situations.

“We were able to force them into long-down situations, but we did force a lot of penalties on their end,” Ford said. “We were bringing a lot of pressure, and that caused a lot of their offensive linemen to jump offsides, which gave us better field position.”

Senior D’Andre Bowler led the Eagles with 11 total tackles, including four for a loss, three sacks and one forced fumble. Senior Rajai Walton had 10 total tackles, senior Markeem Trent had nine total tackles, including two for a loss and two sacks, and senior Michael Dupuy added seven total tackles.

Offensively for Prince Edward, Thomas was 7-for-13 passing for 97 yards and a touchdown, while Moses had four catches for 49 yards and a score. Walker had 18 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown, and junior Khalil Smith had two catches for 46 yards.

The Eagles (2-3) visit Goochland High School on Friday at 7 p.m.