TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — As Bulldogs are aware, flying is for the birds.
Doddridge County rushed 53 times for 189 yards and put together a pair of lengthy scoring drives over the middle quarters Friday night en route to a 15-6 victory over host Eastern in a Week 8 non-conference football contest at East Shade River Stadium in Meigs County.
The visiting Bulldogs (6-2) outgained the Eagles by a 235-168 overall margin in total yardage, thanks in large part to a ground game that continually ate up yardage from the opening kickoff. As a result, DCHS executed 18 more offensive plays in the triumph — despite throwing nine fewer passes.
EHS (2-6) — which dropped its fourth straight decision — joined Doddridge County in completing five passes in the contest, but the hosts gained only one more yard (47-46) for all of their extra aerial efforts. The Eagles finished the night with 121 rushing yards on 26 attempts and also committed the only turnover of the game on an interception just before halftime.
Eastern kept 1,000-yard rusher Wyatt Ford in check for the most part, but the junior running back still managed to produce 153 yards on the ground with 34 carries — despite having only two runs for 10 yards or more. Ford’s only touchdown, however, proved to be the proverbial nail in the Eastern coffin.
Leading 8-0 and starting their opening drive of the second half, Doddridge County capped a 12-play, 44-yard drive in style at the 5:25 mark when Ford plunged in from two yards out — allowing the guests to take a 14-0 advantage. A successful Isaac Britton PAT kick followed, giving DCHS a 15-0 lead.
Both teams traded a pair of possessions, and Eastern took over at the Bulldogs’ 43 with 7:07 left in regulation. Facing a 4th-and-4 at the 37, Zack Scowden rumbled 37 yards to paydirt — allowing the hosts to cap a four-play, 43-yard scoring drive at the 5:33 mark of the fourth.
DCHS followed with a 10-play drive that ate up more than five minutes before stalling due to a loss of downs, and Eastern took over possession at its own 35 with 32.2 seconds left. EHS managed to get the ball to the Bulldogs’ 46 before time ultimately expired.
Both teams traded possessions that ended in a loss of down to start the game, but the Bulldogs broke through on their second possession after putting together a 15-play, 70-yard scoring drive between the quarters. Brandon Stewart marched in from 11 yards out at the 8:01 mark for a 6-0 edge, then Jarrod Sandy tacked on a 2-point run for the early 8-0 cushion.
Stewart also came away with the only takeaway after picking off a Dylan Bresciani pass with 31 seconds left in the first half, preserving an 8-0 lead at the break.
Doddridge County managed an 8-6 lead in first downs and a slim 112-92 edge in total yards during the first half, which included a 90-51 cushion in the rushing department. Eastern did hold a 41-22 lead in passing yards at the intermission.
The Bulldogs finished the night with a 17-9 advantage in first downs and were flagged only three times for 15 yards. EHS, conversely, was penalized twice for 20 yards.
Scowden led the Eastern rushing attack with 63 yards on 11 carries, followed by Bresciani with 15 yards on six totes and Zach Browning with 14 yards on four tries. Chase Cook chipped in 17 yards on three attempts and Tyler Barber rounded things out on the ground with 12 yards on two carries.
Bresciani finished the night 5-of-16 passing for 47 yards with an interception. Cook was also 0-for-1 passing for the Eagles.
Snowden led the receivers with 18 yards on two catches. Barber, Daschle Facemyer and Bradley Colburn each had a catch for 16 yards, 10 yards and three yards, respectively.
Stewart followed Ford with 26 rushing yards on nine totes, while Sandy and David Lipscomb each had five rushing yards on five carries apiece. Lipscomb was also 5-of-8 passing for 46 yards.
Sandy led the wideouts with three catches for 32 yards, while Josh Briggs and Ford added a catch apiece for 12 and two yards, respectively.
Eastern returns to TVC Hocking action Friday night when it hosts Federal Hocking on Senior Night in a Week 9 football clash at East Shade River Stadium at 7:30 p.m.