Eagles take control early, often in big 50-7 victory over Valley

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By Thomas Barr

      HEBRON ESTATES - There would be no question about the distractions of homecoming.

     And there would be no need to ask about any rust having coming off a bye week.

     And any discussion about overlooking an opponent who gave up 74 points to cross-county rival Bullitt Central the week before.

     Brett Newton's North Bullitt Eagles set the tone early and often in its 50-7 victory Friday night over the Valley Vikings.

     The victory improved North Bullitt's record to 3-1 on the season.

     "We did a lot of things much better," Newton said of a team coming off a disappointing loss to South Oldham.

     While many teams will elect to defer taking the kickoff until the second half when winning the coin toss, North Bullitt won the flip and took the ball.

     "We wanted to score first," said Newton. "We didn't think they could stop us."

     The veteran head coach was correct.

     North Bullitt pounded out 387 yards on the ground in 55 carries. Quarterback Patrick Egnor was asked to throw the ball three times, completing one for 20 yards.

     The Eagles gave the homecoming crowd a glimpse of what would follow as they went on an 11-play drive covering 52 yards. Travis Downing got the first of his two touchdowns from the 4-yard-line with 6:19 left in the quarter. Egnor hit Downing for the two-point pass.

     Newton said it was a perfect drive as his team scored the touchdown and took over five minutes off the clock.

     The defense quickly shut down Valley quarterback Robert Jones. When the drive stalled, the snap to Jones sailed over the punter's head.

     North Bullitt took over at the Viking 3 with Josh Exton scoring the first of his two touchdown. Downing's two-point conversion run made it 16-0.

     On the kickoff, Brett McGlothin recovered the ball at the Viking 12.

     Even a holding call couldn't stop the Eagles. On the fourth play, Mitchell Allen scored the first of his two touchdowns from 2.

     Things got even worse for the Vikings on their next possession.

     Casey Dalton recovered a lateral and North Bullitt had the ball at midfield.

     On his only completion of the night, Egnor hit Craig Durbin on a 20-yard completion. After Allen gained another 11 yards on the ground, Downing found the end zone from the 29.

     At the end of the first quarter, North Bullitt fans were celebrating a 28-0 lead.

     North Bullitt's defense stopped the Vikings' deepest penetration of the half at the 22. From that stage, it took only four plays for Allen to score from the 39-yard line.

     Allen's conversion run made it 36-0 with 3:17 left before intermission.

     On the opening play of the second half, Egnor intercepted a Jones pass. Starting at its own 48, North Bullitt needed just four plays, including a 31-yard gain by Exton, to score. Brandon Cundiff scored from the 7-yard line.

     The final score also meant the final action of the evening for most of the North Bullitt starters.

     Taking over after stopping Valley at the 15, North Bullitt went on a five-minute, 12-play drive. The final score on the night came when Exton's fourth-down run from the 14 culminated with an end zone celebration. Downing ran the two-point conversion for a 50-0 lead.

     This meant the clock would run continuously.

     Valley scored its lone touchdown with 24 seconds left in the game. Devin Allen scored from the 2 and Leighton Scales kicked the extra point.

     With all three tailbacks healthy, Newton said the offense is starting to do what he expected. While fullback Jack Barnett is still out with an injury, Newton said Cundiff is running the ball well.

     The offensive line is blocking well.

     On defense, the simple task was not a simple one - contain Jones.

     After having a stellar first half the previous week against Bullitt Central, Jones seemed to show signs of an ankle injury which took him out of the game.

     "We wanted to keep him in the pocket," Newton said of Jones. "I think the defense set the tone early and did a good job stopping the screen pass."

     Even having a big halftime lead, Newton said there were changes to be made and the coaches were encouraging the defense to throw up the shutout.

     Newton said the team had good practices over the past two weeks and he was very pleased the way the players responded.

     "We did a lot of good things tonight against a pretty good team," said Newton. "And it was good to get a lot of the other players into the game."

     As the season is progressing, Newton said some of the younger players are beginning to step up and play in key situations.

     "We have to have some depth," said Newton.

     NEXT GAME - The Eagles will travel to Bardstown on Friday to face the wide-open offense of Nelson County, which had the top passing team in the state as of last week. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.