For The Daily Reporter
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Although it was the second week of the season, to Coach Jim O’Hara of Eastern Hancock it felt like Week 1 all over again, as Eastern Hancock beat South Decatur 33-13 behind a strong rushing and passing attack and a quick defense.
Despite the victory, O’Hara had some concerns.
“It seemed like Week 1 again,” the coach said afterwards. “We just had the jitters and didn’t seem ready to play, and I have to do a better job of getting them ready.”
The Royals were taken back right out of the gate as South Decatur scored on four plays behind the quick and powerful running of Damon Allen and Tyler Bushhorn, who scored to put the Cougars up 7-0 before two full minutes had been played.
“Our defense was out of alignment, and our linebackers were getting beat by their (running) backs,” O’Hara said. “But we went back to our basic defensive formation after the first drive, which helped greatly.”
The Royals’ defense responded, however, and despite many chances South Decatur could only muster one more touchdown the rest of the way. When South Decatur attempted to catch the Royals off-guard by passing the ball, Royals defensive back Clayton Brumfield was there to thwart it.
Brumfield finished the game with two interceptions and another key defensed pass during an attempted South Decatur rally.
The Royals’ offense put together another impressive night, lead by 118 yards rushing and 83 yard receiving and three touchdowns by senior Devin Denny.
His one reception accounted for all of his yards as he took a screen pass the distance to put the Royals ahead 27-7 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. His legs allowed the Royals to bleed the clock while nursing that lead late in the game.
“Our offensive line has almost everyone back from last year,” O’Hara said.
Sophomore quarterback Jarrett Lewis, while not throwing much, came through with another impressive throw just before halftime.
On a first-and-23 from the 24-yard line and less than a minute remaining in the half, Allen took the shotgun snap and let fly a perfect fade pattern pass to the left pylon that was caught by Austin Smith to allow the Royals to take a 21-7 lead, and breathing room, into halftime.
Eastern Hancock begins Mid-Indiana Conference play next week when it travels to Indian Creek.