EASTON — There were plenty of reasons to be pleased.
The offense was balanced, the defense stingy, and the special teams provided points.
Perhaps what pleased Easton High head football coach Pat McGlinchey most about Friday night’s 52-0 victory over a young Kent County team at Warrior Stadium was his team’s efficiency.
“I thought we played really well,” said McGlinchey, whose offense scored on five of its seven first-half possessions, with no drive lasting more than five plays. “We were able to run the ball really well. After that first series we knew we could just run it.”
The Warriors (1-1) have leaned heavily on their passing game, with former quarterback Ryan O’Connor directing the attack the past three seasons, and now younger brother Kevin O’Connor at the helm.
Against the Trojans (0-2), Easton delivered one of its more balanced offensive efforts in recent years. The rushing game totaled 21 carries for 128 yards and four scores, and quarterbacks Kevin O’Connor and Logan Weems combined for 167 yards passing and two touchdowns.
The Warriors may have put up bigger numbers statistically had their five first-half scoring drives gone longer than four, five, two, three and five plays.
“I know we’ve got really good running backs, great running quarterback. And I thought we did really well except for that second series (in the first quarter),” said McGlinchy of Easton’s only three-and-out the whole game.
After a holding penalty on its first play, Easton senior running back Graham Haddaway was sprung for runs of 16, 23 and 14 yards, the last giving the Warriors a 6-0 lead just 64 seconds into the game. Placekicker Jed Smith drilled the first of his seven point-after kicks.
“I think we ran great,” said Haddaway, who carried six times for 60 yards. “The o-line stepped up today. They were doing good work in practice all week, so I had a feeling they were going to be ready this week. I’m pretty happy with what we’re doing on offense.”
After both teams combined for three straight three-an-outs, Easton took possession at its own 44 and was in the end zone in five plays, as Kevin O’Connor found space on the left side and raced 25 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead with 4:17 left in the first quarter.
“Our offensive line was able to push kids around and the weight room really showed up,” McGlinchey said of his team’s off-season workouts.
The Warriors extended the lead to 21-0 with 1:16 left in the opening quarter, when Kevin O’Connor (6 of 8, 100 yards, two touchdowns) hit John Carrieri in the corner of the end zone for a 22-yard scoring strike.
That cushion ballooned to 28-0 just 65 seconds into the second quarter, as Kevin O’Connor threw a short swing pass in the left flat to Haddaway, who covered 27 yards for the score.
After another Trojan three-an-out, Will Maier’s fifth punt of the game was fielded by Easton’s James O’Connor, who veered left and sprinted 54 yards down the sideline for a touchdown and a 35-0 cushion with 8:20 left in the half.
The Warriors fattened their lead to 42-0 with under 5 minutes left in the first half. Kevin O’Connor hit Gil McDougal for a 16-yard gain, then found Jair Ramirez for 17 yards, setting up Brandon Jenkins’ 7-yard touchdown run.
Easton fumbled on its last possession of the first half.
Kent County picked up its only first down of the game on the next play, when Brandon Cannon broke loose down the left sideline for a 31-yard gain. The Trojans finished with 29 yards in offense — 21 of that coming on the ground.
“Defense played lights out,” McGlinchey said. “They were great. Our d-line was able to move their offensive line around and put pressure on the quarterback. Many times the running backs were getting hit behind the line of scrimmage. I felt we contained pretty well for the most part (except) for one or two plays here or there.”
McGlinchey pulled a number of his starters late in the first half.
The running clock was set in motion to begin the second half. Smith drilled a 25-yard field goal with just over a minute left in the third quarter for a 45-0 lead.
Back from a knee injury that sidelined him the entire spring season, Weems completed 8 of 11 passes for 67 yards. His 49-yard run to the Trojan 1-yard line was erased by an illegal block in the back with under 2 minutes left in the first half. But the senior scored on a 10-yard run with 3:55 remaining in the game before Smith’s final PAT capped the scoring.
“It’s hard,” said Kent County head coach Brian Aiken, whose 30-man roster has 15 freshmen. “I have 15 freshmen on both sides of the ball. Hopefully we can grow and learn. That’s what we’re trying to do, take steps in the right direction.”
Queen Anne’s 69 Washington 0
CENTREVILLE — KJ Smothers carried four times for 96 yards and three touchdowns and Devin Wright was 3 of 5 for 71 yards, as the Lions evened their slate with a rout of the Jaguars.
Brian Patrick (3-52), Jayden Handy (5-50) and Thadeo Hyland (2-8) also rushed for a touchdown for Queen Anne’s (1-1). Jai Roy had a 31-yard touchdown reception.
Wicomico 44 North Caroline 20
RIDGELY — Owen Doyle had 124 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and Mason McFayden hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from TJ Bunce, but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs fell to Wicomico.
The Indians (2-0), who never trailed after returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, built a 19-6 halftime lead. North Caroline (1-1) closed within 26-20, but couldn’t get Wicomico’s offense off the field enough to make it any closer.
Bunce completed 6 of 9 passes. McFayden carried nine times for 59 yards, Jack Morris rushed for 35 yards on six carries for the Bulldogs.
SSPP 5, Gunston 0
CENTREVILLE — Emmary Sweeney had a hat trick and Gennie Webb netted one goal and two assists as the Sabres won their Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference opener.
Evelyn Murphy scored on a penalty stroke for Saints Peter and Paul (2-0, 1-0), which has won six straight going back to last season.
K. Island 6
Stephen Decatur 0
STEVENSVILLE — Ava Ravanbakhsh scored twice and Megan Carpenter, Jamie Tranquill and Grace Hines each added a goal and an assist to lead the Buccaneers.
Brianna Riska also scored for Kent Island, and Jordan O’Conner had two assists. Jordan Bunce made two saves and Allie Cimaglia was credited with one.