Eagle Point football went on the road to Ashland High School for their final game of the regular season. The Ashland Grizzlies have gone undefeated at home all year, and this game followed the pattern. Despite holding Ashland to their lowest score in four games, the Eagles lost to the Grizzlies 14 – 27.
As far as the scoreboard was concerned, all the action happened in the first half. Kyle Zerger caught the first touchdown reception, early in the first quarter. Later, after Caleb Ash carried 33 yards to put the Eagles at first and goal, Jakob Combs ran in the second Eagles touchdown from 4 yards out. Ashland scored 21 points in the first quarter, with another touchdown in the second quarter.
The Eagles offense left something to be desired in this game. But, head coach Jacob Schauffler, spoke of Zerger’s touchdown as a highlight. “[He] came back to the ball, and undercut a guy, and beat somebody else to the end zone. It was a phenomenal play from his standpoint.”
Zerger received for 48 yards, rushed 14 yards and was credited with eight individual tackles— more than any other Eagle, and matched only by one other Grizzly. Combs ran the ball twenty times for 66 rushing yards, and caught an 11 yard pass. Ash rushed 77 yards in seven attempts. Carlos Flores and Jesse Sattler also contributed 35, and 22, receiving yards respectively.
Ashland won this game with their ability to throw the ball successfully at crucial moments. A case in point would be the 57-yard touchdown completion to RJ Atteberry with less than ten seconds left in the first quarter.
But, the Eagles defense got into gear after Brandon Wilson’s interception midway through the second quarter, and practically halted Ashland’s forward progress. On the defensive line, Moose Cochran and Dylan Henderson made plenty of trouble for the Ashland quarterbacks. Henderson’s pressure caused some incomplete passes, and Cochran tackled several times for big losses.
While coach Schauffler complimented the efforts of his linemen, he once more credited Kyle Zerger as a leader on the defensive side of the ball. “[Zerger] makes all of our calls,” Schauffler said. “He makes all the adjustments on the field, coverage-wise. That’s a lot of responsibility.”
If the Eagles’ offense could have been as on target as their defense was, the outcome of the game might have been different. Let’s hope they can stay strong as they head into the playoffs!