Eastern Fights Off Resilient Federal Hocking Attack

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The Eastern Eagles and the Federal Hocking Lancers came in to their match-up on Friday night with one thing in mind: win and keep their playoff hopes alive. Both teams have surprised most who follow the TVC-Hocking this season, as they had a combined for 11 wins coming into their matchup Friday, while they only had 5 combined wins at this point last season.

The Eagles fell to the Lancers by the slimmest of margins last season in a 20-19 classic, but they looked for revenge and a shot at the playoffs this year. Eastern got off to a fast start and never looked back, beating the Lancers on a cold and rainy senior night in Stewart, 25-23. 

Eastern sprinted out of the gates by forcing a quick Federal Hocking three-and-out and scoring on their first play from scrimmage on a 74-yard pass from Joey Scowden to Chase Cook. After Eastern added a field goal to the score, Federal Hocking continued to move the ball at a sluggish pace due to an unusually inefficient performance by their quarterback, Kyle Jackson.

Lancers running back Delbert Crum bailed out his quarterback by railing off a 53-yard sprint to the house midway through the second quarter, slicing the Eastern lead to 11-7.

Crum’s night was a success as he complied 162 yards on 26 carries. Eastern did not seem phased by the momentum of the Lancers and Crum, as they cashed in on a touchdown pass near the close of the half, leaving the score at 17-7 at the break.

The beginning of the second half proved to be more of the same. The Lancer offense turned the ball over on downs two times in the third quarter, but their defense put a safety on the board, which pulled Federal Hocking within one possession with the score at 17-9 entering the fourth.

The final quarter looked like a whole new ball game as the offenses of both teams picked up and put some points on the board. Eastern added a touchdown with a two point conversion and Federal Hocking added two touchdowns of their own, bringing the score to 25-23 for the final minutes and setting up a thrilling finish. With the clock running, the Lancers jumped offside on an Eastern fourth-and-1 with a chance to regain possession. Eastern would run off the remainder of the clock and kept their playoff hopes alive.

Eastern quarterback Scowden was 5-for-12 for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns and one interception through the air and also added 86 yards on the ground. Federal Hocking’s Kyle Jackson’s off night resulted in 11-of-23 throwing for 145 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Both teams now sit at 6-3 and 5-2 in the conference. Eastern finishes off the regular season with a game at home against Southern next Saturday while Federal Hocking faces a tough test on the road at Trimble.