CULPEPER — Eastern View head coach Greg Hatfield wasn’t happy with the amount of mental mistakes his team made in last week’s season-opening 28-0 win over Culpeper.
While the Cyclones won that game comfortably, they committed 14 penalties for 125 yards — several of which hampered their ability to sustain drives on offense.
With eight days to prepare for Friday night’s Week 2 matchup with visiting Albemarle, Eastern View looked like a much sharper team.
The Cyclones scored touchdowns on each of their first five possessions against the Patriots and also returned a pair of interceptions for scores, rolling to a 63-7 victory.
“That’s Eastern View football,” said a smiling Hatfield after the game. “We were much sharper [tonight] than we were against Culpeper last week, and it showed in the results.”
Eight different players scored touchdowns for Eastern View (2-0), as seniors Blake Leake, Alex Spangler, Chance Graves and Drew Shurina, juniors Eli Harris, Josh Logan and Ronta Robinson and sophomore Raq Lawson all found the end zone in the rout.
Leake actually hit paydirt twice, tallying once on each side of the ball. His 2-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Till Butler opened the scoring with 8:05 remaining in the first quarter. He then capped off the first half by returning an interception 80 yards to put the Cyclones up 56-0 at intermission.
Leake said his eyes lit up on the pick-6 — a play that saw him corral Albemarle quarterback Jacob King’s pass on the left sideline and reverse field all the way to the right boundary before following a wall of Eastern View blockers to the end zone.
“I caught the ball, and all I saw to my right was blue,” he said. “I knew if I could get to the far sideline that I was going to score.”
Logan registered Eastern View’s other interception return for a touchdown, which was a 25-yarder late in the opening stanza.
King, a sophomore, struggled against the Cyclones’ secondary all night, completing just 3 of 10 passes for 27 yards and four picks.
“We knew [King] was a young quarterback, so we felt like we could pressure him into making some mistakes,” Leake added.
Eastern View’s offense amassed 346 yards, with 238 of those coming on the ground. Lawson had a team-high 86 yards rushing on 10 attempts, while Butler was 9-of-10 for 109 yards and three scores through the air.
Albemarle’s Ebenezer McCarthy carried the ball 21 times for a game-high 105 yards, with 72 of those coming in the second half. The sophomore running back ripped off a 23-yard sprint on the Patriots’ lone scoring drive of the night, which helped set up a 3-yard keeper by King with 11:23 left in the game.
“[McCarthy] is a good back, but I thought we did a good job of slowing him down early in the game,” said Shurina, who made a crowd-pleasing diving interception early in the game. “Our entire defense really swarmed to the ball tonight.”
Albemarle (0-2), which was without at least five starters due to injury for the second week in a row, is hoping its young players are able to learn from experiences like the one they went through on Friday night.
“We’re so young on both sides of the ball,” Patriots head coach Brandon Isaiah said. “But it’s a learning experience for them to come up here and play a great program like Eastern View. They’re able to see what it takes to get to that level.”