RACINE, Ohio — For Eagles, they sure seem to prefer the ground to the air.
The Belpre football team ran for 404 of their 440 total yards on Friday night at Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field, as the Golden Eagles claimed a 46-20 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Southern.
Belpre (3-2, 3-1 TVC Hocking) — winner of three straight and scoring over 40 points for the third game in a row — led 7-0 a quarter into play, as quarterback Conner Baker scored on a six-yard run.
The Tornadoes (4-1, 3-1) took their only lead of the night at 8-7, after Trey McNickle broke a 46-yard touchdown run early in the second period.
The Golden Eagles answered with a 46-yard touchdown run from Nick Godfrey and led 15-8. Southern made it a one-point game with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Gage Shuler to Cole Steele, but Godfrey broke a 34-yard touchdown run to give the guests a 22-14 halftime edge.
The Orange and Black were ahead 36-14 by the end of the third quarter, as Baker scored on a one-yard run and then threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Cox.
Belpre increased its edge to 46-14 in the fourth, as Baker scored on a one-yard run and Tyce Church made a 27-yard field goal.
Southern sent the game out on a high note, as McNickle broke a 34-yard touchdown run for the final points of the 46-20 BHS victory.
The Golden Eagles held a 31-to-14 advantage in first downs in the win, with a 440-to-287 edge in total offense. Belpre also won the turnover battle by a 2-to-1 clip. The hosts were penalized seven times for 78 yards, while BHS was sent back 90 yards on nine flags.
McNickle ended with 151 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries to lead the Purple and Gold. Shuler — who was 6-of-17 passing for 86 yards and a touchdown — carried the ball 10 times for 45 yards in the setback.
Jonah Diddle and Chase Bailey had two receptions apiece with 32 and 13 yards respectively, while Steele had a 30-yard touchdown catch, and Will Wickline added one 12-yard grab.
Logan Adams led the guests with 208 yards on 23 carries. Godfrey had 162 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, to go with a team-best two catches for 22 yards. Baker — who was 3-of-7 passing for 36 yards and a score — ran nine times for 19 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tornadoes will visit South Gallia in Week 6.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.