Golden Eagles outshone by Eastern, 39-14
REEDSVILLE, Ohio — Belpre High had a tough outing on the gridiron.
The Golden Eagles were unable to come back from an early 20-0 deficit and dropped a 39-14 decision to host Eastern High in a prep football game Friday night.
“We’re just not doing the job as a coach, and that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” said BHS head coach Mike DeVol.
Blake Newland scored three rushing touchdowns of 29, 1, and 5 yards while Steve Fitzgerald had two rushing TDs of 1 and 15 yards to lead the EHS Eagles (7-2).
Quarterback Connor Ridenour also passed four yards to Brayden Smith for a score.
Eastern was ranked No. 9 in OHSAA D7, Region 27 going into the contest.
“They did a great job against us,” DeVol said. “And they have a great offensive line, and it showed tonight.”
Belpre, No. 12 in D6, Region 21 going into the game, fell to 5-4 on the season.
The Golden Eagles got touchdowns from Cody Daugherty and Nick Godfrey. Tyce Church converted two extra-point kicks.
After the opening kickoff, Eastern used a punishing ground game to drive down the field, and got a score on Newland’s 29-run to paydirt.
Mason Dishong booted the PAT to make it 7-0.
The EHS Eagles then got good field position after a BHS punt and drove to the Golden Eagle 1 where the 5-foot-10, 205-pound Fitzgerald plunged into the end zone to stretch the lead to 13-0.
Early in the second quarter, Eastern got good field position again when the Belpre punter fumbled the snap at the 26. With a short field, the EHS Eagles marched to the 1 where Newland did the honors, and the home team led 20-0.
On Belpre’s next offensive possession, the Golden Eagles cut it to 20-7 when QB Walker Feick hit Daugherty with a 50-yard scoring strike.
But Eastern answered that with two scores of its own on Ridenour’s TD throw to Smith and Fitzgerald’s 15-yard touchdown run.
The EHS Eagles owned a commanding 32-7 lead at the intermission.
After the break, it was pretty even-steven as each school scored a TD.
In the third period, Eastern’s lead bulged to 39-7 after Newland third 6-pointer of the game, a 5-yard run.
Belpre got on the board a second time when with 8:22 left, Godfrey plowed in from the 3.
“The kids played well in the second half,” DeVol said. “But we just have to do a better job.”
Belpre is scheduled to host Waterford at 7:30 p.m. Friday, while Eastern travels to Southern on the same day, same time.
Ron Johnston can be reached at email@example.com