MONROE — The Eaton football team lost to Southwestern Buckeye League foe Monroe, 31-14, on the road last Friday, Sept. 30. The loss is the second in the Southwestern Division for the Eagles.
The first quarter ended up a scoreless tie.
It was in the second quarter when things opened up, with Eaton scoring first on a fourth down play which resulted in a 12-yard pass from quarterback Lew Bowser to receiver Ghye Wilson, allowing the Eagles to take a 7-0 lead.
Monroe answered back shortly afterwards with a 62-yard run for its first touchdown of the night, tying the score.
“The defense responded to one of our turnovers and they held them in the first quarter,” said Eaton coach Brad Davis. “But we gave up a big play on a counter-trap run. We knew it was coming, but we had guys out of position and tried to do too much. Monroe made us pay for it.”
Eaton took back the lead before halftime, as Bowser plunged into the end zone on a 3-yard run to put the Eagles up, 14-7.
“Bowser’s touchdown run came on a designed run, but we didn’t block for him very well,” Davis said. “Thankfully, he made the play and gave us back the lead. Monroe muffed a punt which gave us field position and we made the most of it.”
But the second half was all Monroe, with the home team scoring 24 unanswered points to take the victory.
The Hornets were able to kick a 25-yard field goal to make it a 14-10 game in the third. The fourth quarter was dominated by Monroe, as the team first scored on a defensive play on a fumble recovery. This gave the Hornets the 17-14 lead.
Eaton gave up a fumble which led to another Monroe touchdown.
The Eagles had an empty red zone trip to try and close in on the lead later in the quarter. But Monroe sealed Eaton’s fate late in the fourth quarter with yet another counter play which went for a long touchdown run.
“I would say this was a tale of two halves,” said Davis. “We had the lead into halftime and felt pretty good, but we didn’t play great. Then the second half, it was turnovers and big plays all in Monroe’s favor. Take away three plays, and it would have been a much better game for us. I tell the boys to win the battle of the big plays.”
“We have another road test coming up and we need to find a way to be more prepared and look forward to the last four games of the season,” Davis added.
Bowser led the Eagles in passing, completing 16-of-29 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing, gaining 62 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. Caleb Puckett had 10 carries for 38 yards. Wilson was the primary receiving threat, with 10 catches for 119 yards and a score. Jordan Lewis and Zac Schmidt each hauled in two catches, while Alex Almeyda-Roe and Puckett had one catch.
“They scored so much on us in the second half,” said Davis. “We drove the ball, but we gave the the ball back too often, either on turnovers or on downs.”
Eaton is now in a three-way tie for fifth place in the SWBL’s Southwestern Division with a 1-2 record, and is 2-4 overall this season. The Eagles will play on Friday, Oct. 7, at Oakwood, who is 1-5 on the season.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH