CHARLOTTESVILLE — Something had to give Friday night, and it wasn’t the Class A No. 3 Monroe Central Golden Bears.
Winners in 17 of their last 18 games prior to kickoff, unbeaten Monroe Central improved to a perfect 7-0 on the season as the Golden Bears spoiled Eastern Hancock’s homecoming fun with a 46-21 win.
“We got manhandled. We just got manhandled. Their guys were bigger, faster and stronger. They won the line of scrimmage and that’s where we had to win it,” Eastern Hancock head coach Jim O’Hara said.
Monroe Central, which was averaging 40.2 points per game, went up 22-0 by halftime behind two passing scores and a run before Eastern Hancock could adjust.
“We have guys not attacking. They’re waiting. They’re just waiting, and that’s called self-doubt. When you have self-doubt, you’re not going to attack,” O’Hara said. “(Monroe Central) had confidence.”
Class 2A Eastern Hancock was riding a five-game winning streak, but the Royals were out-rushed 258 to 120 yards. They went 2 of 6 on fourth downs and 4 of 12 on third downs.
Monroe Central produced 477 total yards on offense, nearly doubling Eastern Hancock’s 272. The Royals were whistled for eight penalties, accounting for 81 yards.
The Golden Bears had four shutouts entering Friday and were allowing 3.0 points per game.
A.J. Muegge broke the Golden Bears attempt at another shutout with a five-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. A Payton Wilkinson 5-yard touchdown run in the same frame cut the deficit 30-15.
Muegge added another 4-yard touchdown burst in the fourth quarter for his second on the night. He finished with 59 yards rushing and one pass completion for 35 yards.
Muegge led the Royals with 62 yards on six receptions. Wilkinson had 50 yards on four catches.
Eastern Hancock quarterback Jarett Lewis completed 14 of 29 passes for 117 yards. His longest completion measure 24 yards.
“They’ve only allowed 18 points all year, so the positive is we did score some points on them, but penalties and fourth-and-inches and not getting them; good teams make the plays and that’s why they win,” O’Hara said. “They are a very good 1A school. There’s a reason they are No. 3 in the state.”
Monroe Central 46, Eastern Hancock 21