BEA wins first home gamr of season versus Central, 29-7

(TIM WEIGHT/FOR THE EXPRESS) Bald Eagle Area running back Gage McClenahan stiff arms a Central defender Friday night. Bald Eagle Area won the game, 29-7.

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – Old fashioned smash-mouth football is alive and well and residing at Alumni Stadium.

Just ask the Central Dragons as they were only able to finish with 15 yards rushing on the night while the Bald Eagle Area football team grinded it out on the ground for 141.

Leading the rushing attack was starting quarterback Kaden Bittinger. Bittinger followed his lead blockers as he finished with 94 yards rushing. He also got in to receiving action as well as Jaden Jones hit him once for four yards in the 29-7 victory.

Early on it was the defense that set the tone as it came up big on a fourth down deep in their own territory to give the ball to its offense.

“We like to mix up our coverages. We are still getting healthy and I think the kids have bought in that we are going to be physical every play,” said Bald Eagle Area coach Jesse Nagle. “I think the kids played physical every single play. I think sometimes when you play like that all the time it wears in teams and the kids great coming out and cracking every play.”

After a scoreless first quarter, that was led by both defenses making strong stands, it would be field position that would lead to the first score of the game, late in the second.

After punting the ball away to the Dragons, Bald Eagle’s kicking game put Central on its 3 to start out.

The Eagles defense forced the Dragons into a third and four at the nine.

Disaster struck Central on the followingvplay when Braden Kitt fumbled the ball into the end zone and it was picked up by Bald Eagle player Tyler Cunningham for the defensive score.

After an illegal substitution play on the PAT, the Eagles decided to go for two and were successful taking an 8-0 lead with 3:53 left until the intermission.

Despite a late Bald Eagle turnover, the Dragons wouldn’t be able to put any points on the board as the Eagles totally shut down the running game in the first half.

At the intermission, the Eagles forced the Dragons to -3 yards rushing and only 17 yards through the air.

Its offense was chugging right along as Bittinger had 54 rushing yards and the team had 72 yards rushing and 43 yards through the air.

Going into the third quarter, the Eagles started with the ball.

However, both defenses once again forced the others to punt the ball away.

On Bald Eagle’s third possession of the second half, the Eagles offense started to heat up as they went on a 6-play drive that started on Central’s 35.

Bittinger went 11-yards on a quarterback keeper and with a Carter Stere kick, the Eagles gave themselves some breathing room at 15-0 with 4:35 in the third.

On the following kickoff, the Eagles forced the Dragons to cough up the ball and it was taken by Colton Wolfe and given back to the Eagles.

Bald Eagle Area did not waste the opportunity as it drove once again, highlighted by a Jaden Jones to Nathan Hoover hook up from the Dragons’ 18 to the 1.

From there they gave it their big man Caleb Burns for the 1-yard run, upping the lead to 22-0.

In the final stanza, the Eagles would score again as Bittinger would run it in from the 6-yard line, making it 29-0.

Central picked up a late 37-yard touchdown from Jeff Hoenstine to Braden Kitt for the late TD, rounding out the scoring at 29-7.

With the win, Bald Eagle improves to 4-1 and heads to Tyrone.