Bald Eagle Area‘s diversified offense was more than Philipsburg-Osceola could handle Friday night as the Eagles cruised past the Mounties, 32-7, in P-O’s home opener.
BEA had six ball carriers gain in double figures and quarterback Jaden Jones threw for four touchdowns, three of them on fourth down calls, as the Eagles improved to 2-0 for the season.
“They have a great, athletic team,’’ said P-O coach Brian McGonigal. “Our kids came out and competed. They played hard. But a few plays on defense gave them some opportunities. We had a couple of places where we had people out of place here and there and that hurt us. And we had some missed tackles that killed us. We let a fake punt get past us. And on fourth down we let a big play go.”
The Eagles scored three times on fourth down, which negated a stubborn effort by the P-O defense.
“People who know me know I’m going to go for it (on fourth down,’’ said BEA coach Jesse Nagle. “When we get into an adverse situation we try to make something good out of it.‘’
The BEA defense throttled the Mounties, allowing a total of 90 yards for the night and picking off P-O’s Ryan Whitehead three times.
“It hurts when you have turnovers. It hurts your quarterback’s confidence. He needs to be able to trust his teammates. We got frustrated at times on offense,’’ added McGonigal.
BEA got its first score in the first quarter when it drove to the Mountie 28 and Gavin Eckley, a freshman tailback, broke loose for the score. BEA went for the two-point conversion but the pass fell incomplete with 5:19 still on the clock.
On their next possession the Eagles marched to the P-O 9, where the Mountie defense forced a fourth-and-4 situation. Jones hit Gage McClenahan in the left corner of the end zone for the score. The run for the two-point conversion was stuffed.
The Eagles stopped the Mounties on their next possession and marched to the P-O 36, where the Mountie defense stiffened, forcing another fourth-down call. The Eagles went to the air again as Jones hit Eckley for the TD with 5:36 left in the half.
On its next possession BEA found itself in a fourth-down bind again, but Jones hit Tommy Snyder from the 11 on fourth-and-8 and Peter Van Cise booted the PAT to make it 25-0 with 2:04 to go in the half.
Jones finished the night hitting 7 of 18 passes for 105 yards and four scores. He added 69 rushing yards. Eckley chipped in with 56 yard on eight carries.
“We have so many weapons,” Nagle said. “Eckley is a freshman and he’s a solid kid. He had two touchdowns tonight. They were definitely keying on Gage (McClanahan). I thought we were pretty sloppy on offense. That wasn‘t the typical Jones. We have to do a better job on our routes. We have to clean some things up.
“On defense we got better from last week. I thought we flew around the ball,” he said.
BEA scored its final touchdown with 5:56 to go in the third quarter when Jones and McClenahan clicked again, this time from 10 yards out. Carter Stere kicked BEA’s final point.
In the fourth, P-O’s Whitehead brothers teamed up for a score when Ryan hit Jeremy in the back of the end zone for a seven-yard TD. Aaron Parks kicked the PAT.
P-O fell to 1-1 and will entertain Bellefonte Friday at 7 p.m. BEA is 2-0 and will travel to Spring Mills to take on Penns Valley.
BEA 32, P-O 7
(Friday at Philipsburg)
BEA 12 13 7 0-32
P-O 0 0 0 7-7
B — Eckley, 28-yd run; pass failed; 5:15
B — McClenahan, 9-yd pass from Jones; run failed, 1:25
B — Eckley, 26-yd pass from Jones; run failed, 5:35
B — Snyder, 11-yd pass from Jones; Van Cise (kick); 2:04
B — McClenahan, 10-yd pass from Jones; Stere (kick), 5:58
P — J. Whitehead, 7-yd pass from R. Whitehead; Park (kick), 10:39
1st downs: B: 13 P: 5; Total yds: B: 322 P: 90; Rush/Yards: B: 42-217 P: 27-59; Yards passing: B: 105 P: 31; Comp/Att//Int: B: 8-18-1 P: 7-20-3; Punts/Avg: B: 1-20 P: 6-37; Fumbles/lost: B: 4-2 P: 0-0; Penalties/yards: B: 13-136 P: 8-80
Rushing: BEA — Snyder, 8-26, McClenahan, 3-30, Jones, 11-69, Eckley, 8-56, Wible, 2- (minus) 10, Bumbarger, 3-22, Vaughn, 4-18, Koleno, 3-4; P-O — Stamm, 12-47, R. Whithead, 7- (minus 13), Martin, 6-19, Hughes, 2-12.
Passing: BEA - Jones 8-17-1; Koleno, 1-0-0; P-O, R. Whitehead, 6-19-2, Hahn, 1-1-(minus) 3.
Receiving: BEA - McClenahan 4-39, Bittinger, 2-22, Snyder 1-4, Eckley, 1-36 P-O, Weitoish, 1-7, J. Whitehead, 3-8, Stamm, 3-5.
Records: BEA, 2-0, P-O,. 1-1.Next - Bellefonte at P-O, Friday, 7 p.m.; BEA at Penns Valley, Friday, 7 p.m.