[Story begins below two video interviews with key Eastern players, Josh Murray and Jasaih Thomas.]
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Eastern Alamance showcased quite a bit of the offensive versatility that could make the Eagles potent when it matters most.
Those latest good signals came from a 42-21 homecoming victory against visiting Roxboro Person on Friday night in Mebane, where the only two teams with unblemished Central Carolina 3-A Conference records met.
“We were clicking at all places,” Eastern running back Josh Murray said. “We were able to pass the ball a little bit, and we were able to run the ball. I feel like Jason Ball really stepped up.”
Ball, the quarterback, threw for two scores, and Murray and Tyrek Samuel both reached the end zone twice. Murray, who gained 148 yards on 17 carries, also scored on a two-point conversion run.
The Eagles (7-1 overall, 4-0 Central Carolina 3-A Conference) dashed any suggestions that this would be much of a showdown by notching two touchdowns in the first quarter and adding three more in the second quarter for a 35-0 lead.
Roxboro Person (5-3, 3-1) posted two touchdowns in the last five minutes.
By then, the Eagles had done their thing.
“We capitalized,” Eastern receiver Jasaih Thomas said. “We’re very versatile.”
Ball threw for 224 yards by completing 17 of 25 passes without an interception. He had a few of his tosses dropped, but that didn’t diminish his effectiveness.
“I don’t think he had a bad pass,” Murray said. “He made the right reads on most the plays.”
The scoring began with Ball’s 7-yard pass play to Cole McGuinness before Murray run for a 4-yard touchdown.
Samuel scored on a 2-yard run one play after Murray’s 34-yard pick-up. Samuel finished an 18-yard pass play by diving for the end zone for Eastern’s fourth touchdown.
After Gage Parsons blocked Person’s 24-yard field goal attempt late in the second quarter, the Eagles breezed down the field with an efficient hurry-up offense to score on Murray’s 2-yard run with 28 seconds left in the first half.
“That was good,” coach John Kirby said of the execution of the two-minute offense. “Down the line, having done that is going to help us.”
[Story continues below photo.]
Eastern took a shutout into the fourth quarter. After the Rockets scored, the Eagles answered less than three minutes later on Thomas’ 22-yard reception from Ball.
“If we can get our passing attack down like we did, I think it gives us a chance,” Kirby said.
Samuel racked up 53 receiving yards and 49 rushing yards.
Eastern’s defense had bright moments as well, not allowing a completed pass on the Rockets’ first five attempts. Javontae Poteat and Aiden Seagroves recovered fumbles for the Eagles.
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Western Alamance 55, Cedar Ridge 0: At Elon, Kevion Hudson scored two rushing touchdowns and the host Warriors rolled on homecoming.
Mason Hogsed, Damari Mims and Cam Cotton also scored touchdowns on the ground. Hogsed’s scoring play covered 60 yards, while Hudson had touchdown runs of 2 and 39 yards.
Zack Oakley and Ethan Morris made touchdown receptions on Evan Kuehnel’s passes for Western (4-4, 2-2 Central Carolina 3-A Conference). James Newton also scored.
Cedar Ridge (1-6, 0-3) was held to six first downs. The Red Wolves were blanked for the fourth time this season.
Southern Alamance 50, Durham Riverside 37: At Mt. Hermon, Stanley Eno ran for a go-ahead touchdown on a 10-yard run in the final minute of the first half and the host Patriots went on to win the homecoming game.
Logan Foust scored two of his three touchdowns on fourth-quarter runs as Southern (6-2, 3-0 DAC-VII Conference) had answers for Riverside’s comeback bid.
Foust gained 190 rushing yards on 26 carries and threw a 53-yard pass.
Jackson Parrish also scored three touchdowns, with two of his scoring runs part of his 97 rushing yards on 21 attempts.
Foust began the game’s scoring on a 4-yard run. Bradley Capps’ pass to Parrish went for a 6-yard touchdown.
After holding a 20-16 halftime edge, the Patriots built the lead on Parrish’s 4-yard run. Foust had touchdown runs of 11 and 13 yards before Parrish’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Quarterback Collin Hurdle threw for four touchdowns for Riverside (4-3, 1-2)
North Moore 28, Cummings 25: At Robbins, unbeaten North Moore overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win the Mid-Carolina Conference showdown at home.
Cummings (4-3, 2-1) posted 22 second-quarter points for a 22-14 lead that held up until the fourth quarter. The only second-half points for the Cavaliers came on Johan Diaz’s field goal, extending the edge to 25-14 early in the final quarter.
North Moore (8-0, 4-0) received two rushing touchdowns from Kolby Ritchie and another from Nathan Rogers.
Graham 38, Jordan-Matthews 13: At Siler City, the Red Devils won their third game in a row – all on the road – to match last year’s win total.
Graham (4-4, 3-1 Mid-Carolina Conference) will have a chance to move into a share of first place in its next game when North Moore visits for the home finale Friday night.
Jordan-Matthews (0-9, 0-5) lost despite producing a season-high point total.