WAYNESVILLE — In preparation for his team’s Week Five clash at undefeated Waynesville, Brad Davis preached to his Eaton football team to “get off the bus and start fast.”
With the exception of a hiccup on the opening kickoff, the Eagles were listening as they raced to a 21-0 lead first quarter lead en route to a 35-7 win to move to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Southwestern Buckeye League West Division.
Waynesville fell to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the SWBL East.
“A point of emphasis was to ‘get off the bus and start fast.’ I think we did a great job with that,” Davis said.
A fumble and holding penalty on the kickoff set the Eagles back on their own seven-yard line to begin the drive.
Six minutes and 93-yards later, thanks to big plays in the passing game, the Eagles scored on a Josh Martin 24-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brock Ebright.
It didn’t take long for the Eagles’ defense, which limited the Spartans to just 131 yards on the night, including 26 on the ground, to make an impact.
On Waynesville’s second offensive play, Eaton defensive back Theo Winings deflected a Spartan pass to teammate Devon Rader, who returned the interception 14-yards for another score to push the Eagles lead to 14-0. The Eagles then forced a three and out, and the offense took advantage.
On the second play, Ebright hooked up with Leslie Orr for a 45-yard touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 21-0 lead after Drew Michael added his third extra-point of the game.
“About as good a start as we could have hoped for,” Davis said. “Definitely proud of the guys for showing up ready to play.”
On the Eagles’ first possession of the second quarter, Ebright tossed his third touchdown pass of the game. A nine-play drive ended on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Winings to extend the Eagles lead to 28-0.
In the third quarter, Ebright threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game as Eaton built a 35-0 lead. Ebright connected with Winings for a nine-yard score.
The Eagles were primed to widen the gap, but a turnover deep in Spartan territory ended the threat.
“We have to put this team away for good right here,” Davis said. “We’re driving in for another score, running clock [and 30-plus point lead], we have all the momentum and we give it away.”
Waynesville then drove for its only score to make it a 35-7 game.
Momentum stayed with the Spartans as Eaton fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but the Eagles defense forced a turnover on downs.
Aiden Willams lead the Eagles with 81 yards on 16 carries. Ebright finished 15-of-25 passing for 252 yards and four touchdowns.
Orr had six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Martin added four catches for 53 yards and a score. Winings added two reception for 29 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our rushing attack wasn’t where it needed to be. But, we did pretty good with our pass game. Play makers stepped in and made plays in space,” Davis said. “Defensively, we did a nice job of stopping the run, which led to several third and long opportunities. We did a great job overall in coverage, which led to a handful of sacks and pressures. The real key to the game was field position. We absolutely dominated field position, which was huge for us. Drew Michael did an outstanding job with [kickoffs]. Good team win, proud of the guys. We were 1-0 this week.”
Eaton returns home this week to take on Middletown Madison (0-5, 0-2 SWBL) for its homecoming game.
Prior to the game, there will be reception in the Wellness Center as the Eagles will welcome back the Ridders – Sam, Sam and Fred. The reception will begin at 6 p.m. They will be recognized between the first and second quarters.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr