BEAVER — Unfortunately for the East Tartans, their losing streak didn’t stop in Pike County on Friday night.
That’s because the Tartans fell for the fourth consecutive contest —losing at Eastern 24-8 in the Southern Ohio Conference Division I football opener.
Against the Eagles, an undermanned East team fell behind 24-0, with seven minutes and 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Only Austin Baughman, with a 48-yard touchdown run, scored for the Tartans —almost two minutes later at the 5:55 mark.
The Tartans tried to craft a comeback, with a quarter-and-a-half to play, as they intercepted Eagle quarterback Dylan Morton twice —but they punted late in the third, before throwing an interception themselves almost midway through the fourth.
East then recovered an Eastern fumble with six-and-a-half minutes left, but twice in that remaining time —at the 3:40 mark and with 45 seconds to play —the Tartans turned the ball over on downs.
The loss left the Tartans at 2-4 —with all four loses coming twice (22-14 and 40-34) to South Gallia, at Newcomerstown (24-22), and now at Eastern (24-8).
The win was the first for the Eagles, which opened the season with five losses.
The Eagles’ four touchdowns included 0-of-4 on two-point conversions, but it didnt’t matter in the end —as only Baughman’s big-play scamper produced points.
Morton completed half of his 16 passes for 109 yards, as two receivers —Tucker Leist (four catches for 68 yards) and Teagan Werner (four catches for 62 yards) — made four receptions for at least 62 yards apiece.
Eastern led 14-0 at the end of the opening quarter —as Landyn Reinsmith took a handoff on the first play following a Tartan turnover, and rumbled 38 yards to the end zone only two minutes and 17 seconds in.
The Eagles added to the lead late in the stanza, making it 12-0 on a one-yard run by Brewer Tomlison —capping an 86-yard drive which featured a 27-yard completion from Morton to Werner with a Tartan penalty.
The next drive spanned three minutes and 22 seconds in the second quarter, covered 69 yards, and began after an East punt before ending midway through the period.
Another Tomlison take, this time from two yards out, made it 18-0.
The Tartans tried an onside kick in opening the second half, but they didn’t get it —and Eastern recovered in good field position at the East 47-yard line.
With only four minutes and 16 seconds gone by, Morton hooked up with Leist for a 15-yard touchdown —to make it 24-0 at that point.
The Tartans return home to Sciotoville’s Allard Park, and return to SOC I action, on Friday night against 4-2 Northwest.
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