ST. HENRY — The Eaton Eagles traveled north into Midwest Athletic Conference territory to face off against the St. Henry Redskins, only to lose 27-7 in their second game of the football season on Friday, Sept. 2.
The game went back and forth for much of the contest, particularly in the first half. Both teams made a number of miscues to stall their offensive drives early in the game. Midway through the first quarter, Eaton took the ball away on an interception by Aaron Tolliver, only to lose it back to the Redskins on a fumble.
Later that quarter, the Eagles fumbled again, only this time inside the St. Henry red zone which allowed the Redskins to drive the ball down for a touchdown. Eaton responded on the following possession with a touchdown pass from Lew Bowser to Ghye Wilson, tying the game up through the end of the first quarter.
“We saw something in their coverage that allowed us to make a good throw and a good catch for our touchdown,” said Eaton coach Brad Davis. “It wasn’t our biggest play, but we did manage to score. We were set up due to an turnover created by our defense which gave us good field position to start with.”
The second quarter showed a similar result as both teams were unable to capitalize with points until close to halftime, when St. Henry scored a second time. With the score 13-7, Eaton felt good about their chances.
“We felt really good about the way we were playing, but they opened the third quarter with a 13-play drive for a touchdown and that really put a lot of pressure on us,” Davis said. “We tried to make adjustments after that, but we fumbled the ball again, which we lost.”
St. Henry scored on a couple of Eaton miscues and built up a 21-7 lead, and the Eagles had trouble playing catch up.
The Redskins defense kept the Eagles away from the endzone for the rest of the game, while employing a strong running game after doing the damage in the third quarter.
“We started getting sloppy and undisciplined late in the second half — our tackles were more arm tackling and were a little lax on their play,” Davis said. “They kept the ball away from us late in the game.”
The Eagles had four turnovers and two takeaways on interceptions, but they came up short once again.
Bowser was 12-of-23 for 165 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions. Bowser was part of the running game as well, with nine carries for 26 yards. Caleb Puckett carried six times for 31 yards. Wilson was the main receiver for the team with eight catches for 131 yards. Tolliver was credited for a fumble recovery and an interception for the Eagle defense.
“There were some positives but it’s tough to find a lot of them,” Davis said. “Turnover is a huge issue for us. I think we played hard, we just have to prepare a little better and fix some mistakes. These first two weeks, we’ve shown signs of being a good football team, we just need to focus and work on the turnovers. We are still understanding our personnel, but we need to get a sense of urgency and get to some more consistent play.”
Eaton (0-2) is scheduled to travel to Talawanda on Friday, Sept. 9.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH.