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Eagles lose, fall to 4-5 for the season

An injury-plagued Prince Edward County High School varsity football team visited undefeated Goochland High School on Friday and left with a 56-8 loss, dropping the Eagles below .500 for the first time this season.

It also hurt their chances of making the playoffs, with Head Coach James Ford noting that even with a win in their season finale this week at Buckingham County High School, the Eagles will probably need some help in the form of favorable results in games between other teams in the region.

The Bulldogs sit atop the James River District, with a 9-0 overall record and a 7-0 district record, and they were predictably solid Friday night.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Ford said. “We turned the ball over three times, and against a team like that, you’ve got to play near flawless to beat them.”

Goochland led 12-0 after the first quarter, aided by a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown. A big second quarter catapulted the Bulldogs to a 42-0 half advantage, and they led 49-0 before the Eagles were able to get on the scoreboard.

In the fourth quarter, junior Kahare Sutton ran for a six-yard touchdown, and senior Zion Lewis completed a pass to senior Chaney Sheehan for a two-point conversion.

Ford said that both execution and injuries played a role in the loss.

“We didn’t execute as well as, of course, we would like to as a coaching staff, and also, when you’re without one of your leading tacklers and leading rushers and some of your better linemen, it does hurt,” he said. “And we didn’t get the ball to our playmakers.”

Due to injury, the Eagles were without junior running back J’Sean Dupuy and senior lineman Deante Trent, and junior lineman Alex Hardy was limited.

“We as a team are very nicked up,” Ford said. “We’ve got guys that are just fighting through playing hurt, and I’m proud of them, very proud of them.”

He praised the defensive performances of juniors Tajh White and Rah’Quan Payne. White led the Eagles with 11 total tackles, including eight solo tackles, with Payne recording eight total tackles, six solo.

Ford noted that Prince Edward (4-5) is in one of the bigger Class 2 regions, and 5-5 or 4-6 teams could be sitting at home come playoff time.

Kickoff for the Eagles’ Friday showdown with Buckingham is set for 7 p.m.