Jaden Jones, Bald Eagle Area Football power over Troy in opener, 50-6

Bald Eagle Area High School’s Gage McClenahan and his teammate celebrate after a touchdown against Troy. (The Express/Phil Mapstone)

WINGATE — The Bald Eagle High School Football team came out to make a statement Friday night and did just that as they hosted Troy in their season opener.

Quarterback Jaden Jones lit it up for an 486-yard passing performance as the Eagles soared in their home opener, 50-6.

“We were definitely impressed with how the offensive line pass protected,” Bald Eagle Area coach Jesse Nagle said. “We had four turnovers and we can’t turnover the ball. We can’t turnover the ball like that against teams all the time because it won’t always end up like it did tonight. So we got work to do. We will get back at it, we’re 1-0. It’s in the past now, we got to get to 2-0.”

Offensively, the line gave Jones all the time he needed to hit his targets.

The result, Bald Eagle had three receivers with over 100 yards receiving in the victory.

Leading the way was Gage McClenahan who finished with a four catch, 172-yard effort.

He was followed by Kaden Bittinger and Matt Reese with catches for 134 and 112, respectively.

Rounding out the top receivers was Kael Gardner with a 57-yard receiving effort.

“Jaden has the ‘it’ factor. He does some things that has you scratch your head at times and then in the same aspects, he has you scratch your head the other way at times,” Nagle said. “With him being elusive and being able to get out of the pocket, guys are wide open because they break down coverage. It’s hard to cover a guy for five to six seconds, especially with our athletes. It’s really tough for them to stay on them the whole time.”

The only blotch on the Eagles scorecard was it committed four turnovers.

However, with the way its defense started the season, it wasn’t a factor in the contest.

The Eagle defense allowed just a total of 35 yards passing and 104 yards rushing for 139 total yards.

Forty-four of those came on the Trojans only touchdown, a 44-yard scamper by Tyler Williams. Williams led his team on offense with 95 rushing yards.

Though the first quarter seemed like it was going to be a back-and-forth defensive battle, the Eagles found a way to get on the board late in the quarter to open the scoring.

Ironically, it would be the defense that would score it.

Blake Roberts picked up a fumble in the Troy backfield and ran 32 yards for the touchdown.

With the Peter Van Cise kick, the Eagles led 7-0 with just 1:40 left in the first.

After forcing Troy to punt on its next possession, the Eagles start to click in the passing department.

Jones found a wide open McClenahan on a third and long and capped things with a 66-yard hook up. Another Van Cise kick, upped it to 14-0 with 9:50 left in the half.

Defensively, the Eagles would score once again just minutes after its offense.

With the Trojans facing a 1st and 10 from the two, the defense broke down the offensive line and caught running back Bailey Cochick in the end zone for the safety.

But the Eagles weren’t quite done there as Jones hooked up once again with McClanahan, this time it was a 46-hard touchdown catch to put the home squad in control 23-0 going into the intermission.

Bald Eagle got the ball to start the second half and went directly back to work. Jones places a perfect throw to a wide open Kael Gardner resulting in a 43-yard touchdown, making it an even 30-0.

Troy would get on board minutes later. Williams would blaze his way through a rare opening in the defense and as he reached the secondary, he turned on the jets for a 44-yard TD scamper. However, the Eagles held on to the two-point conversion, cutting it 30-6.

But the rest of the night belonged to Jones and the rest of his receivers.

With 2:30 left, Jones hit Matt Reese on a 35-yard TD pass to end the third quarter scoring

In the fourth, Jones had two of his most impressive plays of the game.

He first scored a touchdown when calling his own number from two yards out.

Saving the best for last, after starting on his own, Jones sent a 98-yard touchdown pass to Bittinger to put the game on ice, ending it at 50-6.

BEA will go for win number two Friday as it battled Philipsburg-Osceola.


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