Blue Eagles Nearly Perfect Vs. Cavaliers
No matter what Magnolia seemed to do, everything was working against Greenbrier West.
The offense, defense and special teams all came together as Magnolia (3-0) kept its well-oiled machine moving in a 48-0 rout of the Cavaliers (1-2) on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
“This has been the theme so far for us this season, a full team effort,” Magnolia coach Josh Sims said. “We have a lot of guys contributing and we felt like we should took control of this game and we did. That’s the sign of a good team.”
The Blue Eagles cranked it up right away on the opening kick, as Jared Kacor took the return 86 yards to paydirt and Magnolia led 7-0 all of 15 seconds in.
“The return got us started,” Sims said. “The spirits were up and it got the kids excited and we just kept it going. Kacor and (Brooks) Parsons are two of the fastest kids in the state, so we do everything we can to give them the ball in space and use their skills.”
Magnolia forced a three-and-out by Greenbrier West and scored on the first play of its next drive. Nick Priem found Kyle Ritz for a 51-yard strike to put the Blue Eagles up 14-0 with 9:53 left in the quarter. Ritz had two catches for 80 yards.
After another three-and-out for Greenbrier West, Priem found Peau Halahingano wide open in the corner of the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown with 5:47 left in the first quarter.
“They are really good and we are simply not really good right now,” Greenbrier West coach Lewis McClung said. “We are young and I could use every excuse in the book, but bottom line is we better get a lot better because we play a few more good football teams. When you get whipped, you get whipped, and there’s nothing I can say about that. They are better than we are.”
The Blue Eagles were not done in the first quarter as Tyler Anderson scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 5-yard run with one second left. Magnolia took a commanding 28-0 lead into the second quarter and continued to pour it on.
Chase Street 1-yard run to make the score 35-0 with 8:32 left in the first half.
After another Cavaliers drive that ended with a three-and-out, this time on a sack, Magnolia scored three plays later. Anderson ran 18 yards to the house and the Blue Eagles were up 41-0 with 5:44 left in the half.
Greenbrier West quarterback Hunter Bevins was sacked three times while throwing two interceptions. The Blue Eagles also picked off Chad Ramsey in the fourth quarter as the reserves were in. Greenbrier West finished with one first down and negative-7 yards of total offense.
“Our defense has stepped up all season,” Sims said. “It’s just assignment football. We are not asking one guy to do everything, we are asking a bunch of guys to fulfill small roles and that makes it easier for them to have a lot of success in.”
Magnolia scored one more time before the half when Priem found Anderson on a 44-yard screen pass to make the score 48-0. Priem went 7 of 10 for 191 yards and three touchdowns while Anderson caught two passes for 74 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 60 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
Street finished with 70 yards on the ground on five carries. No scoring was made in the second half as both teams agreed to have six-minute quarters.
“We just have a long way to go and have to get better,” McClung said. “The challenge right now is figuring out how to move the ball, get some first downs and make a few stops. I knew we were inexperienced and Magnolia is a senior-laden team and the worst thing that could have happened, happened. They ran the kickoff back and it avalanched from there.”