East Rock Handles Page

Run Game Nets 28-15 Win

Posted: September 28, 2013

Special Correspondent

SHENANDOAH — With the first Shenandoah District game against rival Page County on the horizon, the Eagles went back to basics this week in practice. Following its first loss of the season last Friday, East Rockingham returned to a simple yet reliable formula: pound the ball with the workhorse running back tandem of Shannon Cross and Bret Reel and wear down the opposing defense. The strategy worked well in Friday’s road battle against the Panthers, a 28-15 ERHS victory.

East Rock (3-1 overall, 1-0 in district play) weathered a number of first-half threats from an improving Page County team and came back from an early deficit after Panthers junior quarterback Adam Campbell gashed the Eagles defense for runs of 46 yards (on 3rd-and-13) and 27 yards, the latter for a touchdown.

“That quarterback, man, he can run,” Eagles coach Donnie Coleman said.

East Rock jumped ahead on its opening possession of the second quarter. A seven-play, 51-yard drive was capped off by senior quarterback Hunter Harman finding fellow senior Reel for a three-yard touchdown catch. Sophomore Jerrick Diehl took the direct snap for the two-point conversion and an 8-7 lead.

Page County senior Allen Basnight later scored on a two-play rush and Campbell ran in for the two-point conversion, giving PCHS a 15-8 lead. The TD was set up by Campbell’s 66-yard run on 2nd-and-28, continuing a pattern of big Campbell runs when East Rock had Page in long down-and-distance situations.

The East Rock defense allowed no more points from there, though.

“Our defense really stepped up big time in the second half after Campbell was running all over the place, and we started to contain him as the game wore on,” said Reel, who acknowledged his team’s flat start was perhaps a carryover from last week’s loss to Madison County.

“I guess all the wins are big now that district play is here,” Coleman said. “Hats off to [the Panthers]. They threw everything but the kitchen sink at us coming off a bye week. They came ready to play and at the beginning of the game, we didn’t execute as well as we could have, but that’s a credit to them.”
Cross scored on a 20-yard touchdown run with 2:06 remaining in the first half to tie the score at 15, and after Reel scored from seven yards out in the third quarter, Cross scored again on a one-yard run in the fourth for a 28-15 lead.

“That’s where we’re at our best, when Harman is distributing the ball and Cross and Reel are leading us on the ground,” Coleman said. “That’s what we have to do going forward, and it’s no secret to other teams.”

Campbell led PCHS with 169 yards on 25 carries. Reel led ERHS with 101 yards on 17 carries. The Eagles held the Panthers to just 38 yards through the air, and Cross intercepted a pass for the second straight week.

East Rockingham returns home next week with another Shenandoah District matchup, hosting perennial powerhouse Riverheads. Page County (1-3, 0-1) travels to Luray.

East Rock                0   15   7   6 — 28
Page                          7     8   0   0 — 15

First Quarter
PC- Campbell 27 run (Rivera kick), 9:28
Second Quarter
ER- Reel 3 pass from Harman (Diehl rush), 10:00
PC- Basnight 2 run (Campbell rush), 4:35
ER- Cross 20 run (Bullis kick), 2:06
Third Quarter
ER- Reel 7 run (Bullis kick), 8:37
Fourth Quarter
ER- Cross 1 run (kick failed), 7:23

                                     ERHS                PCHS
First Downs                  13                        11
Rushes-Yards          42-190                37-248
Passing Yards            135                      38
Total Yards                  325                    286
Comp-Att-Int             7-13-0               4-12-1
Punts                         4-38.5                 2-21
Fumbles-Lost             1-1                     3-2
Penalties-Yards        5-55                   7-47

Individual Statistics
RUSHING— ER, Cross 20-83, Reel 17-101, Ramirez 1-2, Price 1-0, Marshburn 1-(minus-4). PC, Basnight, 17-76, Campbell 25-169, Richards 1-0, Williams 1-(minus-3), Dove 2-3, Novell 1-3
PASSING— ER, Harman 7-13-0-135. PC, Campbell 3-11-1-29, Painter 1-1-0-9
RECEIVING— ER, Brown 3-76, Simpson 1-0, Reel 1-3, Ramirez 1-37, Hurt 1-19. PC, Basnight 2-9, Williams 1-20, Lam 1-9.

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