NEW PARIS — Bald Eagle Area’s first trip out of Centre County turned out to be a nightmare on Friday.
The Eagles (3-1) were able to put 10 points up in the first quarter and they would be the only points as Chestnut Ridge (2-2) held BEA silent over the next three quarters in a 23-10 victory.
Early in the first quarter, linemen Jarrett Sheffler and Levi Cramer left the game due to injury.
“We lost two of our better blockers on the offense early in the first quarter,” noted BEA coach Jack Tobias. “It was hard. The guys played hard to come back and to work at it, but we just didn’t execute. At times, we were on the wrong people and I think that was the biggest problem tonight. We just weren’t blocking out front.”
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After the Lions’ kickoff rolled out of bounds, the Eagles lined up on the Lions’ 35. Dakota Bartley gained four yards on a pair of carries and Jason Jones connected with Bryan Green in the air for a pick up of 51. Only 10 yards shy for points, Greene was brought down in the Eagles’ back field for a loss of two and Kaleb Weaver picked up seven yards, but Jones had a loss of one on a fourth down.
Bald Eagle turned its sights to Tyler Schall, who put the Eagles on the board first with a 21-yard field goal with 8:22 left in the first.
Ridge responded with a scoring drive of its own on their first possession of the night.
Lined up on his own 25, Beau Bosch was brought down for a loss of two, but quickly connected with J.D. Weyant for a 12-yard pass. Matt Wiley gained 17 on the next play and an offsides penalty against BEA advanced the Lions.
Bosch ran the ball for a gain of 17 and Wiley picked up another seven yards before erasing the final 23 yards for a Lions’ touchdown. After the PAT kick was deemed good, the Lions held onto a 7-3 lead with 5:04 left to play in the first.
Bald Eagle wasted a little over a minute to regain the lead, lining up on its own 28.
Greene picked up four before he caught Jones’ pass and ran the ball into the endzone on a 68-yard pass. After Schall’s PAT kick, the Eagles held onto a 10-7 lead with four minutes left in the quarter.
Lining up on BEA’s 48, Bosch picked up 20 yards on a trio of carries and after an incomplete pass, the Lions stood at the 26 on a fourth down.
Opting to try and tie the game with a field goal, Sean Van Meter did so with 8:36 left in the first half with a 43-yard field goal.
Bald Eagle was only 25 yards from points late in the game, but Ridge’s Trent Crouse picked off Jones’ pass to secure the win.
Greene led the Bald Eagles with 23 yards rushed and also caught a pair of passes for 119 yards.
“We just weren’t able to run the ball effectively,” Tobias said. “When you can’t run the ball effectively, your pass game’s not going to be open. They set guys back and we weren’t able to take advantage of them setting people back.
“Guys stepped up, it’s not a four game season. We got to come back and work hard to prepare for the upcoming game against Central. The guys need to put the time in and pay attention to detail.”