Eastern View head football coach Greg Hatfield is used to opposing teams keying on the Cyclones’ spread option rushing attack.
Hatfield assumed that would once again be the case when his team visited Orange for a nondistrict game on Friday night, so he trusted quarterback Till Butler and Eastern View’s receiving corps to make the Hornets pay.
They didn’t let him down.
Butler completed 8 of his 9 pass attempts for career-highs of 260 yards and four touchdowns—two each to Alex Spangler and Chance Graves—as the Cyclones cruised to an easy 51-8 victory at Porterfield Park.
“We’ve run the ball pretty well the last couple weeks, so we thought [Orange] would put a lot of guys in the box to take that away,” Hatfield said. “We have a lot of different guys that can make plays though, which I think makes us hard to defend.”
After racking up 214 and 238 yards against Culpeper and Albemarle, respectively, Eastern View (3-0) only totaled 51 against Orange. It hardly mattered, however, with the way Butler and his receivers were in sync with one another.
Spangler, who entered the game averaging 35 yards per reception, wasted no time getting untracked. On the Cyclones’ first drive of the night, he turned a short crossing route on third-and-17 into a 54-yard touchdown to give them a 6-0 lead at the 9:15 mark of the first quarter.
From that point on, it was as if he and Graves were attempting to one-up each other.
Graves took a corner route 77 yards to the end zone with 58 seconds left in the opening stanza to give Eastern View a 16-0 advantage.
Spangler then caught another 54-yard score on the Cyclones’ next possession, making it 23-0.
For good measure, Graves turned a screen pass into a 54-yard touchdown of his own on Eastern View’s first possession of the second half, extending the Cyclones’ edge to 37-0 and effectively signaling the rout was on.
Like Butler, both Graves and Leake posted career-highs in yardage and touchdowns. Graves finished with 131 yards on three catches, while Spangler had 130 on three receptions of his own.
“I’m just blessed to be able to play with so many talented guys,” said Graves, who also blocked a punt and returned it for a score to go along with hauling in an interception from his safety spot on defense. “The offensive line was on point [tonight], and Till was phenomenal.”
Spangler also showered Eastern View’s offensive line and quarterback with praise.
“The line gave Till plenty of time to throw the ball, and he didn’t miss,” Spangler said with a grin.
For his part, Butler was unwilling to take any credit for the Cyclones’ air attack.
“I mean, the o-line gave me all the time in the world [to throw the ball], and our coaching staff called a great game,” he said.
Not to be outdone, Eastern View’s defense turned in a banner performance as well, limiting Orange (0-3) to just 61 yards of total offense and forcing five turnovers. Cornerback Josh Logan returned one of the Cyclones’ three interceptions for a touchdown in the third quarter—the second week in a row he’s done so.
Orange standout running back Jaylen Alexander was held to a meager 13 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
“Coming in, we felt like Alexander was the one player they had who could beat us,” Hatfield said. “We weren’t going to let that happen.”
Eastern View hosts Charlottesville in a nondistrict game next Friday, while Orange welcomes in Courtland.
EV—Alex Spangler 54-yard pass from Till Butler (kick failed).
EV—Garrett Hutchinson 20-yard field goal.
EV—Chance Graves 77-yard pass from Till Butler (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Alex Spangler 54-yard pass from Till Butler (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Chance Graves 20-yard blocked punt return (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Chance Graves 54-yard pass from Till Butler (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Blake Leake 30-yard run (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Josh Logan 20-yard interception return (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
O—Jaylen Alexander 5-yard run (Walker Johnson run).
RUSHING: Eastern View—Raq Lawson 10-48; Blake Leake 1-30, TD; Deuce Washington 6-14; Chance Graves 1-4; Ronta Robinson 2-2; Caden Huseby 1-(-15); Till Butler 6-(-32). Orange—Noah Carey 6-62; Jaylen Alexander 10-13, TD; Paul Poirier 2-3; Hylton Hale 3-7; Walker Johnson 2-(-18); Sihle Mthethwa 5-(-26).
PASSING: Eastern View—Till Butler 8-9-0, 160 yards, 4 TDs. Orange—Walker Johnson 3-8-2, 20 yards; Sihle Mthethwa 0-2-1.
RECEIVING: Eastern View—Chance Graves 3-131, 2 TDs; Alex Spangler 3-130, 2 TDs; Eli Harris 1-5; Blake Leake 1-(-6). Orange—Jaylen Alexander 3-20.