MANDATA — Brandon Carson preached to his Line Mountain team that it must cut down on the turnovers if it is going to achieve its goals.
Against rival Halifax on Friday night at Glenn Ressler Field, the Eagles committed a turnover against the blitz, and lost a fumble on the next drive.
Other than that, the Eagles cruised as they rolled to a 54-14 Tri-Valley League victory, with the entire second half played under the mercy rule Friday.
After the Eagles went on top quickly 13-0, the Wildcats (0-3 overall, 0-2 TV) got new life when quarterback Evan Herb’s pass was tipped by a pair of teammates and picked off by the Wildcats’ Judah Miller.
That turnover set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Bryce Enders and it was 13-7 with just under two minutes left in the opening period.
The Wildcats were unable to capitalize on the next turnover, a fumble on the next series and the Eagles (2-1, 2-0) took off.
Halifax coach Earl Mosley said his team needed to use that momentum and get back in the game.
“We’re a young team, and the teams we played the last three weeks were good teams," he said. “But we don’t need to help them.”
The Eagles scored on their first two possessions. Herb hooked up with his brother, junior Aiden, for a 26-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game.
After a three-and-out, the Eagles got a 27-yard punt return from Cameron Smeltzm and Evan Herb passed to Garret Laudenslager for 25 yards. Jacob Feese then burst over the middle for a touchdown and the Eagles were up 13-0.
The next time that Line Mountain got the ball, on a third-and-1 from its own 24, a blitz by Halifax forced the interception.
“I had something else called, and we tell our quarterbacks when they’re bringing inside blitzes like that to audible and do a quick pass, so he did, and I was kind of in shock," Carson said. "I should have called time out and I didn’t. We ended up turning the ball over and giving them a little life.
“I was proud of our kids for responding after that. When you come out on the winning side and you overcome a little adversity, you feel good.”
Herb and Feese alternated at quarterback.
“With Jacob being able to run the option, too, it helps to be rotating out," Herb said. "Our offense is a little bit different with more running, so it helps to rotate.
“It helps you reset a little bit and just clear your mind after a bad series or if you’re not seeing something right. It helps you see it from a different view for a series.”
Evan Herb hooked up with Aiden again, this time as he was open down the middle, for a 58-yard score with five seconds left in the opening quarter.
A short punt and a 26-yard return by Feese to the 10 of Halifax set up another TD. Line Mountain assured the second half would be played under the mercy rule as Beau Heim scored on a 5-yard run to make it 42-7 at the half.
LINEMOUNTAIN 54, HALIFAX 14
Halifax (0-3)`7`0`0`7 — 14
Line Mountain (2-1)`21`21`6`6 — 54
LM — Aiden Herb 26 pass from Evan Herb (kick blocked)
LM — Jacob Feese 4 run (Cameron Smeltz kick)
H — Bryce Enders 4 run (Tai Lehman kick)
LM — A. Herb 58 pass from E. Herb (Smeltz kick)
LM — Feese 6 run (Smeltz kick)
LM — Cody Ebersole 27 pass from E. Herb (Smeltz kick)
LM — Beau Keim 1 run (Smeltz kick)
LM — E. Herb 3 run (pass failed)
LM — Feese 5 run (kick failed)
H —Harold Bowman 25 pass from Micah Deitrich (Lehman kick)
RUSHING — Halifax: Hunter Smith, 8-48; Enders, 9-26, TD; Micah Deitrich, 4-24. Line Mountain: Feese 14-98, 2 TDs; Keim, 10-52, TD; E. Herb 3-28; Max Bingaman, 8-5; Colin Fritchey, 1-1; Kelly Reed 1-(-6).
PASSING — Halifax: Deitrich 9-27-0, for 76 yards, TD. Line Mountain: E. Herb 5-6-1, for 96 yards, 3 TDs; Feese 2-3-0, for 77 yards.
RECEIVING — Halifax: Bowman 3-31, TD; Judah Miller, 3-14; Ryan Stahl, 2-7; Smith, 1-25. Line Mountain: A. Herb, 3-103, 2 TDs; Cody Ebersole 2-45, TD; Garret Laudenslager 1-25; Smeltz 1-1.