• Kurt Ward

Eastern defeats Southern

Eastern Alamance Defense Hands Southern Alamance Its First Loss

By Kurt C. Ward

MT. HERMON – “I think we grew up as a football team tonight.”

That’s what Eastern Alamance Coach John Kirby had to say about his Eagles after they defeated Southern Alamance 28-14 Friday.

Eastern entered the game 1-1, which much of their season to this point characterized by missing games because of COVID.

Friday’s victory was the second of the week for Eastern, who handled Cummings on Monday.

“Playing two games in one week was tough on us physically, but I think it was good for us as a team,” said Eastern quarterback Hunter Douglas, who completed 8 of his 12 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns. “It helped us get back in rhythm. On Monday, we were not in rhythm, not in synch with one another. Tonight we were.”

All three of Douglas’ touchdown passes went to 6-foot-2 junior Devin Clark. Clark scored every time he touched the ball on offense, catching Douglas passes of 48, 40 and 19 yards.

Sophomore running back Josh Murray also shined in the victory. Murray rushed for 231 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.

Eastern (2-1) finished with 428 yards of total offense.

The Patriots entered the contest riding a three-game winning streak and averaging 384 yards rushing per game.

The Eagle defense held them to just 151 yards on the ground Friday.

“This one is on me,” Southern Coach Fritz Hessenthaler said. “I wish I had better prepared our team.”

Eastern jumped out to a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter and led 21-6 at halftime.

Southern made some adjustments during the intermission and moved the ball more consistently in the second half. However, it was too little, too late for the Patriots.

Down 28-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, Southern put together its best drive of the night, moving the ball 80 yards in eight plays. The drive included passes of 48 and 20 yards from Mitchell McClendon to tight end Kamden Gurley.

For the night, McClendon completed seven of 18 passes with one TD and one interception.

Both teams struggled in the kicking game, with the special teams play plagued by several bad snaps.

Eastern fumbled the ball on three occasions, losing two of those drops.

“We’ve got to correct some things – turning the ball over and some special teams’ mistakes,” Kirby said. “We make those corrections, and I think we will be a pretty good football team.”

Eastern returns home to face Western Alamance Friday, Sept. 24.

Southern will play host to Corinth Holders of Wendell Friday.

Eastern 14 7 0 7 - 28

Southern 0 6 0 8 - 14

Eastern – Josh Murray 12-yard run (Kasen McCawley run), 3:51 remaining in first quarter

Eastern – Devin Clark 48-yard pass from Hunter Douglas (kick blocked), 0:19 remaining in first quarter

Eastern – Clark 40-yard pass from Douglas (Karsyn Johnson kick), 5:19 remaining in second quarter

Southern – Nevaeh Gattis 22-yard pass from Mitchell McClendon (run failed), 1:44 remaining in second quarter

Eastern – Clark 19-yard pass from McClendon (Johnson kick), 11:09 remaining in fourth quarter

Southern – Jackson Parrish 1-yard run (McClendon to Parrish pass), 7:25 remaining in fourth quarter

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