THE EAST Jackson Eagles were ravaged out of their nest by the Hart County Bulldogs Friday night.
It was purely an uphill battle as Hart County (2-3, 2-0) dismantled East Jackson 44-0, scoring 41 points in the first half. East Jackson is off until Oct. 19 when it takes on Morgan County (4-1, 1-1) for homecoming.
The injury woes continued for East Jackson (0-6, 0-3). Eagle receiver Josh Saucier was hurt during pregame Friday, and running back T.J. Clay injured his knee against the Bulldogs and the timetable for his return is unknown.
Quarterback Austin Beauchamp played despite suffering through a hand injury and illness.
Still, the opening drive for the Eagles in Friday’s game showed some signs that this game may be a close one.
They steadily moved the ball with help from Beauchamp, who threw for 55 yards on 5-of-10 passing. He completed two quick passes to junior receivers Deshun Upadhyay (five catches, 55 yards) and Casey Reed (three catches, 32 yards) for a total of roughly 12 yards.
But the drive was instantly put to a halt by Hart County’s steel curtain defense. It resulted in a fantastic punt that practically went the whole length of the gridiron.
Then, the Bulldog offense came out firing on all cylinders.
On the first play of the game for Hart County, running back K.J. Moore held the turbo button down and scampered for a 90-yard touchdown that was called back because of a penalty.
That penalty did not stop him. On the ensuing play after the penalty, he decided to take off again for a 55-yard gain. This would put the Bulldogs in position to get a quick score of 6-0.
When it rains, it pours. Things did not look good for the Eagles.
Next possession for East Jackson led in a fumble in which Hart County scooped and scored for the go-ahead score, 13-0.
The Eagles’ life did not get any easier. After the quick 13-point deficit, Beauchamp threw a pick that would put the Bulldogs in great field position.
After the interception, Bulldog quarterback, Dakota Mitchell owned the night. He threw a 19-yard lob to Anthony Turner for a touchdown to take a commanding lead of 20-0.
He was not done.
Following another quick Eagle possession, next Bulldog possession Mitchell threw a 42-yard bomb right over the Eagle defender into the hands of Jared Scotland for another touchdown taking the score to 27-0 in just the first quarter.
The second quarter seemed to carry the same pattern. Quick possessions and punts by the Eagles followed by big plays from Mitchell and company. He managed to score on a 43- yard touchdown run and a 71-yard bomb.
This capped off the night.
In just one half, the ‘Dogs were able to put up an offensive clinic. They threw 41 points on the board, making the Eagle fans flee the nest early.
The second half the backups came in and Hart Co. managed only three points.