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MOUNT WASHINGTON - The Waggener Wildcats came to Mike Egan Field on Friday night bearing gifts.
And the host Bullitt East Chargers gladly accepted them.
The visitors turned the ball over six times and Bullitt East converted four of the miscues into touchdowns in a 55-0 route.
With the victory, the Chargers are now 3-2.
The theme of the night was to be to score on the first possession and have fun.
Head coach Darrell Vincent said that theme was followed to perfection.
On its opening drive of the game, Bullitt East went on a 58-yard, four-play scoring march. The scoring play came when quarterback Nathan Christmas kept the ball and raced into the end zone from 37 yards out. Devyn Noe converted the extra point for a 7-0 with 10:25 left in the opening quarter.
On Waggener’s fourth play, Tyler Ashburn recovered a fumble at the 28.
Although slowed by a pair of illegal procedure penalties and a block in the back that nullified a 43-yard touchdown pass from Christmas to Tyler Cowgell, Bullitt East still got into the end zone.
From the seven, Christmas hit Cowgell and this time there was no penalty. With 7:34 left in the quarter, Noe converted the extra point for a 14-0 lead.
On its next possession, the Wildcats again coughed up the ball and Peyton Harris recovered at the 11.
Two plays later, Buzz Hadley busted up the middle to score from the 2. Noe’s kick made it 21-0 with 5:56 left in the opening quarter.
With the Waggener drive stalled, Cowgell returned a punt 30 yards to set up yet another scoring possession for Bullitt East.
Starting on the Waggener 20, Bullitt East would need five plays to cover 24 yards, thanks to penalties and a quarterback sack. On fourth and 18, Christmas hit Cowgell up got behind the defense for the touchdown with 1:20 left in the quarter. Noe’s kick made it 28-0.
Another turnover would net points on the scoreboard for the Chargers. Cowgell hauled in an overthrown pass and raced 89 yards into the end zone. With 8:37 left in the second quarter, Noe converted the extra point for a 35-0 halftime lead.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Waggener lost the ball on the first play and Hadley recovered.
Starting on the Wildcat 32, Bullitt East needed six plays on the ground before Hadley scored from the 2. Another conversion by Noe made it 42-0.
Bullitt East would score with 4:55 left in the third quarter when Christmas found a wide open Austin Owen in the end zone for the 48-0 lead.
After Taylor Smith intercepted a pass to open the fourth quarter, Bullitt East would go 79 yards to consume almost every second of the running clock.
Keeping the ball on the ground, Christmas scored from the two and Noe kicked the extra point for the final 55-0 margin as time expired.
In looking at the film, Vincent thought Bullitt East would win the battles along the line of scrimmage but he feared the big plays.
“We came off the ball much better,” Vincent said of the improving line play. “And our backs were hitting the holes better.”
To be successful, Vincent said Bullitt East must run the ball.
On Friday, he was pleased with the 252 yards on 38 carries.
With the return of Hadley, Vincent said the running game has improved. The growing confidence of Christmas, a sophomore who started the season as a backup, has also been evident.
Hitting six of 11 attempts, Christmas had 77 passing yards.
“He’s getting better and better,” Vincent said of his signal caller.
Much of that can be attributed to the improvement of the entire offensive unit. Also, Vincent said it helps when the Chargers don’t commit turnovers and key penalties.
Defensively, Vincent said he has been pleased the entire season.
“We thought the defense would have to carry us early,” said Vincent.
On Friday, the defense limited Waggener to 162 total yards, including just 60 on the ground. The Bullitt East defenders also made 13 tackles for losses.
The only time Waggener came close to scoring, a penalty nullified a touchdown.
“We’ve played solid,” said Vincent. “We may have given up a long play or two tonight but we played well. The only thing we have to do is learn to tackle a little better.”
“We came out tonight wanting to hold onto the ball and run it better,” said Vincent. “We did that.’
NEXT GAME - The Chargers will hit the road and travel to Elizabethtown on Friday night to take on Central Hardin. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.