WATERFORD, Ohio — If you stumble out of the gate, your chances of winning the race aren’t great.
The Eastern football team committed turnovers on its first two possessions of the game, on Friday night in Washington County, and the Eagles fell to host Waterford by a 46-7 final.
The Eagles (3-3, 2-2 TVC Hocking) were intercepted by WHS senior Taylor Strahler on the first drive of the game, giving the Wildcats (5-1, 4-0) prime field position. Waterford took advantage, as three plays later, senior Tyler McCutcheon found paydirt on a seven-yard run.
Misfortune struck the guests again on the first play of the ensuing drive, as Eastern fumbled the ball and Waterford recovered. On the very next play, Waterford was in the endzone again, this time on a 21-yard pass from Isaac Huffman to Ty McGraw.
After an Eastern punt, Waterford scored again, this time on a 59-yard pass from Huffman and Wyatt Lang. Cody Harris was 3-for-3 on first quarter extra-point kicks, making the WHS lead 21-0 through 12 minutes of play.
The Eagles scored on the first play of the second quarter, as Jett Facemyer connected with Jon Wolfe for a 15-yard TD pass. Jett Facemyer kicked home the extra-point, cutting the deficit to 21-7 with 11:53 left in the first half.
Waterford got those seven points back at the 6:41 mark of the second quarter, however, as Huffman scored on a four-yard run and Harris added the PAT.
Leading 28-7, Waterford received the second half kickoff and marched down the field. The Wildcats moved ahead 34-7 with a one-yard McCutcheon TD run, that came with 11:18 left in the third quarter.
Waterford went ahead 40-7 with a Braden Bellville five-yard scoring run at the 5:34 mark of the third, meaning that a running clock was put in place.
The final score of the game came with 6:27 left in regulation, as Harris broke a 15-yard run for paydirt. Waterford was 0-for-3 on two-point conversion tries after halftime, but still won by a 46-7 count.
For the game, WHS held an 11-to-8 edge in first downs and a 372-to-173 advantage in total offense, including a 200-to-34 clip on the ground. Waterford was penalized five times for a net of 50 yards, while EHS had two penalties for a total of 10 yards. The only two turnovers of the game came on Eastern’s first two possessions.
Jett Facemyer completed 10-of-18 passes for 139 yards with one interception and one touchdown. Josh Brewer led EHS on the ground with 47 yards on 15 attempts. Wolfe hauled in four passes for 80 yards and one TD for the guests, while Blaise Facemyer caught four passes for 50 yards.
Huffman — who ran six times for 39 yards and one TD — completed 5-of-8 passes for 172 yards and two scores. Harris led the victors on the ground with 89 yards and one touchdown on four carries, while McCutcheon and Bellville each had 36 yards and one TD, on 11 and nine carries respectively.
Lang caught two passes for 67 yards and one score for WHS, Bellville caught one 83-yard pass, McGraw hauled in one 21-yard scoring pass, while McCutcheon grabbed one 24-yard pass.
The Eagles will continue their road stand on Friday, when they visit 2-4 Wahama.Waterford will visit 2-4 South Gallia on Friday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.