Blue Eagles Too Much For Bears
On Friday Night, Halloween, Oct. 31, the Magnolia Blue Eagles traveled to Oak Glen High School for a battle between two West Virginia Class AA schools looking to continue their push towards the playoffs. The Big Blue offense proved to be too much for the Bears to handle, as the Eagles emerged victorious, 42-23.
Brandon Sprouse took the opening kick and returned it to the 41. On the next play, Stingray Bates coughed up the football and the Bears moved the ball to the MHS 23. Dillon Jackson, just returning from a hamstring injury, stopped a Bear runner for no gain, but Oak Glen went for it on fourth down. However, Jared Blatt used his paw to knock the pass and Magnolia took over.
Oak Glen’s defense rose to the occasion and forced the Blue Eagles to punt. Oak Glen continued to move the ball and the Magnolia defense stood tall once more, forcing another fourth down situation. This time it was Bates who broke up the intended pass.
The Blue Eagles moved the ball well, highlighted by a Justin Fox hit to Jason Utt for 28 yards. The same combination hooked up again for a 25-yard TD pass and, after Fox added the PAT, the Eagles were clinging to a 7-0 lead.
After the ensuing kick, the Bears moved the chains once but were forced to punt once more and Magnolia took over heading into quarter number two. Bates opened up the second quarter with a 32-yard run into Golden Bear territory, but the drive stalled when Fox tossed one to an Oak Glen defender. Two plays later, Oak Glen completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to knot the game at seven.
The Fox-Utt Enterprise went to work on a first down and then connected again later in the drive for a 46-yard TD pass. Fox added the point after and the Eagles doubled up the Golden Bears, 14-7.
Magnolia, energized after their last score, stopped the Bears and forced them to punt. After a solid run by the Eagles’ Bates and two pass completions by Fox and Utt, the ball was deep in Bear territory. Bates found the end zone from two yards out to extend Magnolia’s lead to 21-7 late in the second period.
After the Eagle kick, Oak Glen moved the ball to the 35 yard line, but Utt picked off a Oak Glen pass on the last play off the half.
The Bears took the second half kick and moved it to the 36 yard line before the Eagles’ Treah Keller stymied a third down play to force a Bear punt.
The Eagles moved the ball after the punt and, after a couple first down runs by Bates, Utt hauled in an Immaculate Reception of his own to the Bears’ 17. Fox and Utt hooked up again for a TD from 15-yards out to give MHS a 28-7 lead after the extra point kick by Fox.
The Bears fumbled the ball on their next possession and Fox found a wide-open Jared Blatt over the middle for a 25-yard TD pass. Fox added the point after and, with four minutes remaining in the third period, the Eagles lead ballooned to 35-7.
The Eagle defense forced another Bear punt after a Zack Neff quarterback sack. Bates scored on a one-yard plunge to make the score 42-7 after three.
Oak Glen scored two late TD passes of 30 and 32 yards and added two two-point conversion passes late in the game to make the game a little more respectable for the Golden.
Bates led the Eagles with his third straight 100-yard game with a 170-yard performance and a pair of touchdown runs. Fox completed 11-17 passes for 226 yards and four TDs. Utt had eight receptions for 188 yards and three scores. Defensively, Cole Mullett paced the Eagles with nine solo tackles and assisted on nine others. Jackson had four solo tackles and five assists.
The win sets up a big match this Friday at 7:30 p.m. when the second ranked Grafton Bearcats come to Alumni Field to take on the number 12 Blue Eagles. If the Blue wins, it could climb as far as sixth in the Class AA rankings and will host a playoff game the following week. A loss would mean they would have to travel.