Eastern View head football coach Greg Hatfield warned his team all week long not to take Courtland lightly.
Despite their 1-5 record coming into Friday night’s Battlefield District game, the Cougars were more than capable of turning the Cyclones’ undefeated season on its ear, Hatfield said.
Eastern View must’ve taken Hatfield’s message to heart, because the host Cyclones built a 14-0 lead before ever running an offensive play, coasting to a 49-6 victory.
“Courtland is always a tough, well-coached football team,” Hatfield said. “I wanted to remind our guys of that, regardless of what their record was.”
As it has so often this season, Eastern View (7-0 overall, 3-0 district) got off to a fast start.
Following a Courtland (1-6, 0-3) three-and-out on the game’s opening possession, Alex Spangler returned a Clay Cassiday punt 39 yards for a touchdown to give the Cyclones a quick 7-0 edge with 9:39 remaining in the first quarter.
On the next possession, Cassiday didn’t even have time to get his punt off. His attempt was blocked by a swarm of Eastern View players and scooped up by the Cyclones’ Mikey Keene, who raced 23 yards for a score and a 14-0 Eastern View advantage at the 7:49 mark of the opening period.
Spangler, who also recorded an interception from his cornerback spot on defense, was playing with a heavy heart. His grandfather, Stanley Hawkins, passed away last Sunday after being involved in an automobile accident.
“This win means a lot to me,” Spangler said. “My teammates and I were playing for my granddad, and we knew we’d have to go all out to beat [Courtland].”
The Cougars never could recover from the early onslaught. They mustered only 33 yards of offense in the first half and finished the game with just 75 total against the Cyclones’ stout defense.
“There’s a lot of things you can say about our defense,” Hatfield said. “They take a lot of pride in swarming to the ball and just playing as hard as they can on every down.”
Meanwhile, Eastern View’s offense served up its usual variety of big plays on the ground and through the air.
Ronta Robinson rushed for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just seven carries. His second score of the night—a 10-yard scamper early in the second quarter that pushed the Cyclones’ lead to 28-0—was set up by his own 72-yard run two plays before it.
Eastern View quarterback Till Butler completed 4 of his 8 first-half passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. His 35-yard scoring strike to Blake Leake with 6:11 left in the first half gave the Cyclones a 35-0 edge.
Eastern View upped its advantage to 42-0 when Chance Graves took a jet sweep five yards for a touchdown just before halftime. It was set up by a 56-yard connection from Butler to Spangler the play before.
Butler added a 17-yard scoring run late in the third quarter for the Cyclones.
Courtland was able to get on the board thanks to a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Raul Gil to Sean Wray with 5:19 remaining in the game.
Eastern View travels to King George next Friday, while Courtland hosts Chancellor.
EV—Alex Spangler 39-yard punt return (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Mikey Keene 23-yard blocked punt return (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Ronta Robinson 1-yard run (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Ronta Robinson 10-yard run (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Blake Leake 35-yard pass from Till Butler (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Chance Graves 5-yard run (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
EV—Till Butler 17-yard run (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
Ct—Sean Wray 19-yard pass from Raul Gil (kick failed).
RUSHING: Courtland—Josh Morgan 19-37; Raul Gil 7-21; E.J. Rogers 1-2; Jason Lomax 5-2; Alieas Harriott 3-(-4); Team 1-0. Eastern View—Ronta Robinson 7-111, 2 TDs; Raq Lawson 10-54; Till Butler 3-53, TD; Eli Harris 2-7; Chance Graves 1-5, TD; Jalen Woodward 1-4; Jason Southern 1-3; Dartagnan Sherbeyn 1-2; Caden Huseby 2-0; Alex Spangler 1-(-7); Team 1-(-4).
PASSING: Courtland—Raul Gil 2-9-1, 17 yards, TD, INT. Eastern View—Till Butler 5-11-0, 120 yards, TD.
RECEIVING: Courtland—Sean Wray 1-19, TD; Jason Lomax 1-(-2). Eastern View—Alex Spangler 1-56; Blake Leake 2-53, TD; Chance Graves 2-11.