By Dave Poe
Special to The Times
BELPRE - Eagles are supposed to soar.
But somebody forget the Eastern High School football team.
Competing in a Tri Valley Conference game against another group of Eagles -the Belpre Golden Eagles -Eastern scored five first-half touchdowns and rushed for 326 yards in the first 24 minutes while attempting just four passes. The Eagles (4-2) led 35-0 at intermission and coasted to a 48-20 triumph as Belpre (1-5) scored the final three touchdowns of the game.
It didn't take Eastern long to show its strategy and its dominance. On the game's first play from scrimmage. Eastern quarterback Joey Scowden outrun the entire Belpre defense for a 74-yard touchdowns and a 7-0 Eastern lead just 24 seconds into Belpre's Homecoming game.
Eastern 48, Belpre 20
Eastern (4-2) 14 21 13 0 -48
Belpre (1-5) 0 0 0 20 - 20
Joey Scowden 76 run (Max Carnahan kick) 11:36 1st.
Ethan Nottingham 28 run (Carnahan kick) 5:25 1st.
Joey Scowden 34 run (Carnahan kick) 10:19 2nd.
Zach Scowden 16 run (Carnahan kick) 8:17 2nd.
Carnahan 33 interception return (Carnahan kcik) 7:58 2nd.
Chase Cook 25 run (klick failed) 4:18 3rd.
Garrett Ritchie 12 pass from Daschle Facemyer (Carnahan kick) 0:20 3rd.
Manny Tullius 3 run (kick failed) 11:25 4th.
Tullius 34 run (Jamie Barrett kick) 8:07 4th.
Tullius 47 (Barrett kick) 2:16 4th.
Eastern: First downs:
12; Rushes-yards: 44-438; Passing yards: 50; Total yards: 473; Passing: 5-7-0; Punts-average: 3-30; Fumbles-lost: 0-0; Penalties-yards: 9-90
Joey Scowden 15-262, Ethan Nottingham 10-143; Passing: J. Scowden 4-5-0, 38 yards; Daschle Facemyer 1-1-0, 12 yards; Receiving: Garrett Ritchie 1-11, Nottingham 2-27, Alex Amos 1-12,
Belpre at South Gallia next Fruday; Trimble at Eastern next Friday.
The hometown Eagles nearly responded with a TD of their own but Eastern's Tanner Palmer intercepted a fourth-down Belpre pass from the Eastern 17.
Eastern needed just five plays to travel 83 yards for a 14-0 lead as Ethan Nottingham scored from 28 yards out with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
After scoring twice in the opening stanza, Eastern added three TDs in a wild and sometimes woolly second stanza.
After recovering a Belpre fumble on the first play of the second quarter, Eastern needed just four plays to make it 21-0 on a 34-yard run by Scowden.
A Belpre mistake - a bad snap on a punt - led to Eastern's next score - a 16-yard run by Zach Scowden with 8:17 left before intermission.
Things got even worse for Belpre -when on the first play from scrimmage -Max Carnahan intercepted a Golden Eagle pass and returned it 33 yards for an Eastern touchdown and a 34-0 lead with 7:58 left in the half.
Nobody scored the rest of the half but things got a little out of hand with a Belpre player getting ejected over a hard tackle that took place out of bounds.
The second half witnessed both teams on their best behavior, as the final 24 minutes saw a lot of reserves play.
Eastern made it 41-0 on a 25-yard TD run by Chase Cook with 4:18 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles scored their final TD thanks to another bad snap on a Belpre fumble that set up Eastern at the 5.
Reserve quarterback Garrett Ruble hit Daschle Facemyer with a 12-yard TD pass with 20 seconds left in the third quarter.
Belpre's Manny Tullius -playing quarterback -scored three times for the Eagles in the fourth quarter on runs of 3, 34 and 47 yards but it was too late for the Eagles to mount a serious comeback.
Belpre is at South Gallia next Friday while Eastern hosts Trimble that same night.