ST.PAULS — On the heels of an hour-long rain delay, visiting East Bladen provided the thunder and lightning and easily crushed St. Pauls 54-10 in a non-conference game.
The win improves the Eagles to 3-0, while the Bulldogs fell to 0-3.
Despite a soggy field, East Bladen’s ground game got rolling quickly. On their first possession, the Eagles moved 50 yards in six plays thanks to a 49-yard scamper by Eian Hines before a pair of East penalties. Nikita Owens culminated the drive with a 6-yard touchdown and Jesus Ramos added the PAT for a 7-0 lead just 5 minutes into the game.
After forcing a Bulldogs punt, East Bladen went on another 50-yard march. On the fourth play, Hines ran 40 yards for the score and Ramos added the extra point for a 14-0 lead.
After St. Pauls turned the ball over on downs, Ethan Hines sparked a 47-yard drive with runs of 12 and 15 yards before quarterback Ty McMillian tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Owens just 1 minute into the second quarter. Ramos booted the point after for a 21-0 advantage.
The two teams traded possessions, but Owens got the ball back or the Eagles when he stepped in front of a St. Pauls pass and returned it 22 yards to the Bulldogs’ 35. From there, McMillian hit Sincere Smith with a 29-yard pass, Owens gained 5 yards on a run and Eian Hines scored on a 1-yard touchdown. Ramos’ extra point gave East Bladen a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Bulldogs’ next possession was short-lived, as Kyle Tatum picked off a St. Pauls pass and scampered 50 yard for an East Bladen touchdown. Ramos added the PAT for a 35-o lead with 4:45 left in the half.
After stopping St. Pauls on its next possession, Chris Cromartie broke through, blocked the ‘Dogs’ punt and fell on the ball at the St. Pauls 19. On East Bladen’s fourth play, Ethan Hines ran 4 yards for the touchdown with less than 2 minutes left before intermission. Ramos gave the Eagles a 42-0 edge.
A fumble by St. Pauls was recovered by Cromartie in the end zone for a touchdown. The Eagles took a knee on the conversion, but led 48-0 at halftime.
East Bladen took the second half’s opening kickoff, where Ethan Hines gathered in the kick and outraced everyone to the house for a 76-yard touchdown. The Eagles again took a knee on the conversion, happy with a 54-0 lead.
With East Bladen coach Robby Priest getting his bench some playing time, the Eagles didn’t threaten the rest of the way.
But the Bulldogs managed to put 10 points on the board in the fourth quarter — on a safety, a touchdown pass and two-point conversion — to avoid the shutout.
Eian Hines led the Eagles with 105 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries, while Owens scored on the ground and through the air.
East Bladen will have an open date on Friday, while St. Pauls travels to West Bladen on Friday.