The Clarke County Eagles continued their four game road series this week squaring off against the Falcons of Central High. Early morning rain didn’t dampen the turnout as the teams took the field before a packed house Saturday afternoon. Turnovers and big plays kept the Falcons in the game but in the end the Eagles were able to shutdown the home team and take away a 21-7 victory.
A scoreless first quarter saw both teams struggle on offense. Clarke turned in a nice 4th down conversion late in the first quarter but couldn’t capitalize. It wasn’t until the clock ticked into the second quarter that the Eagles were finally able to kick start the offense. Starting from their own 27 the Eagle backfield went to work with the Paice, Smoot, Hardesty combo working the ball to mid field. On second an nine Drew Paice dropped back and connected a deep pass to Alex Sefton on the ten yard line but the Falcon defense clawed the ball out forcing the fumble. The Falcons recovered on the ten yard line defusing the drive with 9:20 left in the half.
The take away turned up the intensity for the Eagles on the defensive side of the ball pinning Central behind the fifteen forcing them to punt. However on the first play after the punt #3 Jesse Smoot threw a floater down-field that was picked off by Central immediately handing the ball back to the Falcons, but the turnovers would continue. Two plays later the #6 Todd Benton would pull down an interception for the Eagles at midfield giving Clarke another shot at the end zone.
A twenty yard carry by #5 Davey Hardesty took the Eagles to the 26 yard line. Two penalties by Central pushed the ball down to the 6 yard line and Hardesty would carry the ball two more times to break the ice with a 3yard touchdown run. With 3:05 left in the half Connor Shendow nailed the PAT and the Eagles were up 7-0.
The Falcons would not go into halftime quietly. Central took the kickoff at the ten yard line and caught a seam up the middle running the ball back for a touchdown to tie the game at 7.
The Eagles were able to answer back before the half. Three plays after the Falcons kickoff return Drew Paice dropped back and connected with Davey Hardesty on the Falcon 30. Hardesty plowed his way to the end zone for his second touchdown of the day to put the Eagles up 14-7 going into half time.
Gun shy from the 90 yard kick-off return Clarke opted to squib the kickoff opening the second half. Central mishandled the ball and Clarke picked up the loose ball for an immediate turn-over. Central’s defense stepped up held the Eagles who had to punt the ball away after three and out. But the Eagles would not be held for long. Two series later Drew Paice tossed a pass to Davey Hardesty in the flats on the 24 yard line and Hardesty scored his third touchdown of the day adding the final points to the board at 21-7.
Coach Parker commented on the win and Hardesty’s big numbers after the game saying,”He seems to have a nose for the ball and made some big plays today. We have some other weapons but it was really clicking with him today. Drew got the ball to him and he made it happen.”
Defensively the Eagles shut out the Falcon’s with their only points of the day coming from special teams on a kick off return. Parker said, “Our kick off team has done a good job all year and Connor kicks the ball well but anytime you get somebody with some wheels and the you get a crease, bad things can happen.”
The Eagles move to 3 and 1 for the season and will continue their road game run facing Strasburg on Friday September 23. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.
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