Finally Jesse Nagle got to see the football team he envisioned in August take the field Friday night at Alumni Stadium.
The Eagles lost wide receiver Matthew Reese to a shoulder injury in the first half of the first game of the year at Troy. Then, in the third week of the season, quarterback Jaden Jones and slot back Gage McClenahan went down, when McClenahan re-injured his knee and Jones suffered a shoulder injury.
But in front of a Homecoming crowd against Huntingdon, they were all back in the lineup as the Eagles rolled over Huntingdon, 34-0.
Jones completed 13 of 18 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns, one of which was a 58-yarder to Reese and 18- and 76-yarders to Kaden Bittinger, who was the backup quarterback when Jones was out.
McClenahan caught a 3-yard TD pass and also had a key interception.
“This was the first time Jaden has had all of his weapons at his disposal,’’ Nagle said. “He’s getting into a rhythm now. And we’re starting to play the way we know we can play. The key is for us to stay healthy.”
The teams were deadlocked at 0 as the first quarter wound down. But the Eagles, thanks to a 37-yard punt by Jones that pinned the Bearcats on their own 1, snapped the deadlock with a 10-yard run by Tommy Snyder. At the 11:06 mark, Carter Stere’s PAT made it 7-0.
Huntingdon had gambled on a fourth-and-7 call and ran a fake punt but BEA stopped Derrick Fultz on the 10, a yard short of the first down.
“That’s on me,” said Huntingdon coach Shane Thomas. “We worked on that and I told the kids if they saw something to go for it. We probably should have gone punt safe there.”
BEA got on the board again late in the quarter when Jones hit Bittinger for 42 yards to the Huntingdon 18 and connected with him again for the touchdown on the next play at the 2:43 mark. And on Huntingdon’s next play, McClenahan intercepted QB Nick Troha at the BEA 42, and Jones found Reese for a 58-yard strike to make it 20-0 at the 1:40 mark.
“It went from 0-0 to 20-0 pretty quick,” Thomas said. “That’s a very good team there.”
The Eagles scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter as they drove to the Bearcat 3 and Jones hit McClenahan from there for a score at the 6:46 mark.
Huntingdon’s offense followed with a drive to the BEA 20 where it was stopped and after a 4-yard gain by Snyder. Bittinger got behind the Bearcat secondary and Jones hit him in stride for a 76-yard score. Stere’s PAT at the 2:48 mark set the final score.
“I think our speed was the difference in the game,” Nagle said. ”When we have everyone on the field we’re very fast.”
BEA held Huntingdon to 67 yards passing and 214 yards in total offense.
“Our defense played outstanding,’’ Nagle added.
BEA, now 6-1, will visit Clearfield Friday in a matchup of once-beaten Mountain League teams.
BEA 34, Huntingdon 0
Huntingdon 0 0 0 0 0
BEA 0 20 14 0 34
B — Snyder, 10-yd runb; Stere (kick), 11:06
B — Bittinger, 18-yd pass from Jones; Stere (kick), 2:43
B — Reese, 58-yd pass from Jones; Kick failed, 1:40
B — McClenahan, 3-yd pass from Jones; Stever, (kick), 6:46
B —Bittinger, 76-yd pass from Jones; Van Cose (kick), 2:48
1st downs: 11 6; Total yards: 214 342; Rush/Yards: 39-147 28-106; Yards passing: 67 236; Comp/Att/Int: 29-14-2 18-13-0; Punts/Avg: 3-33 4-31; Fumbles/lost: 1-1 2-2; Penalties/yards: 1-10 5-55
Rushing: H — Troha, 7-(minus) 21, Fultz, 22-147, Lauer, 2-2, Emel, 1- (minus) 6, Cook, 6-29, C. Miller, 1-(minus) 4; B — Jones, 5-32, Bittinger, 1-(minus) 1, McClenahan, 1-17, Snyder, 11-36, Vaughn 3-15, Wible, 2-6, Burns, 2-4, Team 3 (minus) 3.
Passing: H — Troha 21-10-53-2, Fultz, 7-4-14, C. Miller, 12-0-0; B — Jones, 18-13-0-236.
Receiving: H — A. Miller, 8-32, Fultz, 4-24, Emel, 1-4, Harmin, 1-7; B — Bittinger, 7-136; McClenahan, 4-5, Reese, 3-84, Snyder, 1-4, Eckley, 1-9.