Eastern is only unbeaten county team after first two games
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Jason Ball didn’t let one blunder ruin his performance Friday night.
He allowed it to motivate him.
The Eastern Alamance quarterback threw for two touchdowns and also ran for a score in the Eagles’ 28-14 victory against visiting Southern Alamance.
Eastern Alamance running back Tyrek Samuel gained 115 of his 210 rushing yards in the first quarter. He ended up with 23 carries, with just two of those resulting in negative yards.
Two weeks into the season, the Eagles are Alamance County’s lone unbeaten football team.
The game was tied late into the first half when Ball fired his first scoring pass, connecting with Antoine Pugh on a 6-yard play.
“We faced some adversity in the beginning and came back really good,” Ball said. “I felt like I let my teammates down [with the early interception].”
See post-game comments from quarterback Jason Ball: https://bit.ly/3e0q6Tp
That came when Southern’s Myles Darroch snatched an errant throw from Ball and rumbled 54 yards to the Eagles’ 1-yard line in the first quarter. The Patriots were in the end zone on the next play.
“It kind of kept things tight,” Southern coach Fritz Hessenthaler said of the impact of the interception.
“It really makes me mad and I have to move on and flip the page,” Ball said of responding to his first interception of the season.
So Eastern didn’t bag its aerial attack. Instead, the Eagles were fine with seeing Ball flourish.
“It’s how you react to it,” Eastern coach John Kirby said. “I thought our offense reacted well.”
After the pick-off, Ball completed his next five throws and eight of the next nine.
His last pass of the game gave the Eagles a two-touchdown cushion when he connected with Trynton Wiley on a 27-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-12 snap in the final minute of the third quarter.
Ball finished 11-for-18 for 144 yards.
“I like passing the ball, I’m a quarterback,” he said.
He began the game’s scoring on a rushing play, reaching the end zone on a 3-yard run.
Samuel, who began the season with a six-touchdown outing vs. Eastern Randolph last week, had a 2-yard run for his only scoring play in producing the first points of the second half.
See previous story on Tyrek Samuel’s 6-touchdown opener last week: https://alamancenews.com/eastern-high-school-back-makes-big-early-impression-6-touchdowns/
The Eagles had lots to contend with in dealing with Southern’s power rushing attack. The Patriots had six players with multiple carries, led by Jackson Parrish’s 88 yards on 12 attempts. Parrish scored on runs of 1 and 40 yards.
“I think we did pretty well,” Eastern linebacker Brayden Warren said. “We held them to 14 points ,but I felt we could have done better.”
Kirby said his defense had to display a level of endurance in controlling the Patriots.
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“Anytime you beat them, it’s good,” Kirby said. “They didn’t panic. They just keep doing what they do.”
The Patriots (1-1) had a different level of challenge than a week earlier in a romp past Graham.
“It’s a tough loss for us,” Hessenthaler said. “We didn’t execute well enough. … We’re all learning. You can learn from wins. You can learn from losses.”
Area scores – Week #2 (August 26)
Eastern Alamance 28, Southern Alamance 14
Western Alamance 35, Cummings 14
Carrboro 14, Graham 6
Eastern Randolph 69, Asheboro 7
McMichael 40, Bartlett Yancey 38