EATON — The Eaton Eagles forced eight turnovers and scored two defensive touchdowns en route to their first win of the 2015 season as they beat Talawanda, 47-0, on Friday, Sept 11.
The win also gave Brad Davis his first win as the varsity football coach for Eaton.
“After starting the season 0-2, getting a win before we begin SWBL play was huge for us,” said Davis, who challenged his team to out-effort the Braves. “We stressed it would be an effort game, as both teams were in similar situations heading into their respective league games.”
The Eagles led 7-0 after the first quarter before stretching the lead to 34-0 entering the halftime break.
Eaton added scores in each of the final two quarters.
The Eagles forced four interceptions and recovered four fumbles on defense.
Davis said winning the turnover battle was huge for a team looking for its first win.
“The single biggest difference this week was winning the turnover-takeaway battle,” said Davis, whose team lost the battle the opening two games,
“The first two weeks we turned the ball over too many times, which ultimately led to points for the opponents. This week, we didn’t do that and were opportunistic with the takeaways we were able to force defensively.”
The star of the game was the opportunistic defense, which created short fields for the offense and even added two scores. Davis said the pressure from the defensive line and linebackers was key as they aimed to slow down the between-the-tackle running game of the Braves.
Defensively, senior Shelby Ward added two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown, and an interception. Senior Damon Willard added a fumble recovery and interception for a touchdown. Kevin Melling had two interceptions and Braydon Shanefelt also had a fumble recovery.
Davis also liked the way quarterback Lew Bowser played.
“He made some nice reads, which led to some big plays in both the run and pass game,” said Davis, who knows Willard is often the focus of opposing game plans. “It’s important for us to be able to make plays when defenses key on Damon and limit his productivity.”
Bowser finished 9-for-13, passing for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Bowser also the led the team in rushing, totaling 56 yards on 16 carries. Willard chipped in two rushing touchdowns on 16 carries for 41 yards.
Ward and Tyrell David each had receiving touchdowns on the game.
The Eagles are now 1-2 as they enter SWBL play for the first time next Friday, Sept. 18, when the team travels to Franklin. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @ aschmidt_RH.