Second Half Surge Nets Eagles First Win

Second Half Surge Nets Eagles First Win

By Tim O’Sullivan

For the Independent


In the first half, the Eagles were their own worst enemy.

But a two-and-a-half-minute surge early in the third quarter erased a seven-point deficit en route to a 21-13 win against Ridgeview in a sparsely attended, midge-infested contest played at Modoc Field in Klamath Falls.

The game, like so many others early on this football season, was moved from the Bend-Redmond area due to poor air quality.

Casey Zakowski tied the score 7-7 with a 10-yard run, capping a 69-yard drive in just 1:10 to begin the second half. After a 3-and-out by the Ravens (0-2) Noah Page returned the ensuing punt 60-yards for a touchdown, giving the Eagles the lead for good.

“We needed that just to get our momentum rolling,” Head coach Seth Womack said.  “We couldn’t sustain any drive and when we did we’d just shoot ourselves in the foot. Just getting momentum going helped us take advantage of the opportunities we got.”

The quick second half burst erased a disastrous first half with five mishandled snaps, a second and goal at the three-yard line that failed to yield any points, and a fumble on the Raven 16-yard line, thwarting another drive late in the first half.

And that doesn’t include a 59-yard touchdown run by Connor Benz on the first play from scrimmage, giving Redmond a 7-0 lead just 18 seconds in.

Page topped the Eagles run game with 96 yards on 12 carries, with his 13-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter extending the lead to 21-7.

“He just finds a way to be successful on both sides of the ball, running, blocking, returning kicks,” Womack said of Page’s success on both sides of the ball. “He’s just a football player and a natural leader. Other kids just take to him and follow his lead. He’s a special dude and he’s only a junior.”

Devin Bradd added 66 yards on 13 carries. Jimmy Kinyon had the lone reception of 31 yards from Carlos Seiter, who took over for Josh Sitzer at quarterback early in the second quarter.

Benz ended up with 113 yards on 13 carries to pace the Ravens offense. Their passing game was less impressive as three quarterbacks combined to complete seven passes in 17 attempts with a pair of interceptions.

Redmond had a long touchdown run erased on a holding call midway through the first quarter, with the run game afterwards virtually evaporating, amassing just 58 yards on the ground after the game’s opening play.

Alex Carrillo had four sacks, with Page and Seiter had interceptions to pace the defense.

The Eagles open Midwestern League play this week at Springfield, before taking the home field (weather permitting) for the first time September 22nd against Thurston.