Federal staves off Belpre, 21-13

STEWART, Ohio – Host Federal Hocking forged a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but had to stave off Belpre in the second half to notch a 21-13 TVC Hocking Division football victory Friday night.

Federal, now 3-2 overall, drove 56 yards in 10 plays on the game’s first possession, mostly on the rugged running of Delbert Crum.

The Lancers converted a 4th-and-9 at the Belpre 32 on the touchdown march, with quarterback Philip Hoffman connecting with wide receiver Alfie Nichols for 15 yards

That set up Crum blasting over from the 6 for a 6-0 score at 7:30 of the first quarter.

Then Federal went from its own 20 to the Belpre 17, but the Golden Eagle defense stopped the Lancers at 0:44 on 4th-and-3.

Federal Hocking made it 14-0 in the second stanza on a 19-yard TD pass from Hoffman to Peyton Seel and a two-point aerial conversion from Hoffman to Nichols at the 7:21 mark.

On the ensuing kickoff, Federal recovered its onside kick at the Belpre 48 and two plays later, it was 21-0

Hoffman found Nichols all alone at the Belpre 35 for a 41-yard pass to the Golden Eagle 7, from where Crum hammered home a TD romp at 7:08 followed by Nichols’ PAT.

Then for Belpre, now 1-4 overall, after Kole Counts returned the ensuing kickoff to the Federal 48, QB Tavian Miller kept the pigskin on six straight plays, capped by a two-yard TD run with 3:29 left before halftime to narrow the gap to 21-7 after Jamie Barrett’s PAT.

And Belpre cut the deficit down to 21-13 to open the second half, as Manney Tullius’ running propelled the Golden Eagles down the field before Miller found Trent McCoy for a 30-yard TD strike at 8:26 of the third quarter.

But a fumble recovery by the Lancers’ Jacob Buck at the Federal 17 at 1:22 of the third halted another Belpre threat.

Belpre, though, got the ball at its own 24 with 3:59 to play, and drove to the Federal 34. But on 3rd-and-1, Belpre was flagged for holding, and then on 4-and-16 from the Lancer 49, Matt Pierce sacked Miller for a seven-yard loss with just 2:40 to go.