CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — No flight was needed … because the Eagles ran away with this one.
The Eastern football team churned out 439 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns — all on the ground — while rolling to a 47-20 victory over host Huntington on Friday night in a Week 1 non-conference matchup in Ross County.
The visiting Eagles (1-0) led wire-to-wire after building an early 14-0 advantage in the first quarter on touchdown runs of five yards and two yards by Steve Fitzgerald, but the Huntsmen (0-1) countered with a Dalton Haubeil 3-yard run that left the score at 14-8 through one period of play.
Blake Newland scampered 41 yards to paydirt early in the second frame to increase the lead back out 20-8, but Haubeil answered by hauling in a 19-yard TD pass that closed the gap back to 20-14. Fitzgerald ended the first half scoring with a 2-yard run for a 27-14 cushion at the break.
Fitzgerald tacked on his fourth and final rushing score of the night with a 1-yard run early in the third, giving the Green and White a 34-14 lead.
Haubeil, however, answered with his third TD of the game moments later following a 75-yard kickoff return that closed the gap down to 34-20.
Newland added a 7-yard scamper for his second rushing TD while the guests increased their lead out to 41-20 entering the fourth period.
Brayden Smith tacked on a 63-yard run in the finale to wrap up the 27-point triumph.
Eastern claimed a 21-8 advantage in first downs and also held HHS to just 121 yards of total offense, including negative six yards through the air. Both teams also committed a single turnover apiece.
EHS was flagged nine times for 55 yards, while the hosts were penalized seven times for 54 yards.
Newland led the Eagles with 181 rushing yards on 30 carries, while Fitzgerald added 125 yards on 19 attempts. Connor Ridenour came up empty on four pass attempts for zero yards.
Eastern, which claimed its first season-opening victory since 2004, returns to action Friday when its hosts Caldwell in a non-conference contest at 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.