TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Into the win column with authority.
The Eastern football team scored 42 points in a row and celebrated Senior Night with a 42-8 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest South Gallia on Friday at East Shade River Stadium.
Eastern (1-2, 1-1 TVC Hocking) — which has now won six straight in the head-to-head series with SGHS (0-3, 0-2) — needed exactly one minute to take a 6-0 lead, with senior Blake Newland breaking a 26-yard touchdown run on just the third play from scrimmage.
The Eagles got the ball back with Conner Ridenour intercepting a pass on the Rebels’ third offensive play. Four plays later, EHS was up 12-0, with Brayden Smith finding the end zone on a 19-yard run.
Smith intercepted a pass to get the ball back for the hosts, and 13 plays later, Eastern was up 18-0 on a four-yard touchdown run by senior Steve Fitzgerald.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Eagles went up 24-0, as Blake Newland broke a 54-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first quarter.
Steve Fitzgerald gave the hosts a 30-0 lead with an eight-yard touchdown run 3:23 into the second period. Eastern added six more points to its lead with freshman Brandon Oldaker finding paydirt on a two-yard run with 48 seconds left in the half.
EHS was up 42-0 by the end of the third quarter, with Brandon Oldaker scoring on a four-yard run with 26 seconds left in the period.
The guests were three yards from the end zone with four minutes left in the game, but Bradley Bailey forced a fumble and Brandon Oldaker recovered for the hosts.
However, South Gallia’s defense got its second fourth down stop of the game, and Tristan Saber ended the Eagles’ shut out bid with an eight-yard touchdown run with 1:07 to play. Kenny Siders added the two-point conversion run for the final points’ of Eastern’s 42-8 win.
For the game, Eastern had a 17-to-4 advantage in first downs, and a 372-to-87 edge in total offense, including 302-to-90 on the ground. EHS was penalized five times for 40 yards, while SGHS was flagged four times for 25 yards.
Leading the Eagles, Blake Newland had 109 yards and two touchdowns on five carries, while Fitzgerald had 104 yards and two scores on 12 totes. Brandon Oldaker finished with 40 yards and a pair of scores on 11 carries, while Colton Combs added 34 yards on nine carries.
Brayden Smith — who ran twice for 22 yards and a score — led all receivers with five receptions for 65 yards. Bruce Hawley hauled in one pass for five yards in the win.
Conner Ridenour completed 4-of-6 pass attempts for 58 yards, while Brady Yonker was 1-of-2 passing for 12 yards.
For South Gallia, Saber — who completed 1-of-8 pass attempts for minus-3 yards — led the Rebel rushing attack with 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Kenny Siders carried the ball 31 times for six yards, while E.J. Siders picked up three yards over four tries.
In Week 4, Eastern is slated to visit Waterford, while South Gallia will welcome Belpre for Homecoming.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.