Coming off of a 50-point road loss to Luray in the opening week, Madison County ostensibly had nowhere to go but up in head coach Chandler Rhoads’ first game as head coach in front of the Mountaineer faithful.
It took East Rockingham very little time to put a damper on Rhoads’ home debut. One play, to be exact.
Prophecy Kisamore fielded the opening kickoff and rumbled through the middle barely touched, giving East Rock a 6-0 lead 12 seconds in and the Eagles never looked back, blow past the homestanding Mountaineers 33-7.
“That was a great way to start off,” East Rockingham coach Donnie Coleman said. “”Just like that, six to nothing.”
Kisamore’s scamper was part of an early flurry by the Eagles which left little chance of an upset, as the visitors from Elkton put up touchdowns on two more first-quarter drives courtesy of running back J’Wan Evans, who ran for 207 yards on just 12 carries.
“Coach is always telling us to come out with intensity and pop them in the mouth,” Evans said. “That’s what we did tonight.”
The first Evans touchdown came from 12 yards out on the heels of a 52-yard run to open the Eagles’ first drive, and Evans then went 86 yards on the first play of their next drive for a 19-0 lead with 1:52 to go in the first quarter. East Rockingham put up all of its points before halftime.
“It’s great having multiple guys who can run the ball,” Coleman said. “We ride the hot hand and right now J’Wan is the hot hand. Everyone’s doing their part.”
Darrias Brown got into the scoring act midway through the second quarter with a 20-yard run of his own, while quarterback Dylan Williams capped a near-flawless first half for the Eagles by tossing a 30-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Kisling to extend the lead to 33-0 at the break.
The first half also featured an impressive showing from the Eagle defense, which forced punts on six of seven Mountaineer drives in the first half. Madison’s first drive ended in a missed 40-yard field goal attempt.
Madison continued to struggle on offense as it works to replace nearly all of its production from a year ago. Eastern View harrassed Madison quarterback Elijah Lewis all night, getting most of his yardage on the ground after being forced from the pocket. Jamar Turner was the Mountaineers’ leader on offense, racking up 197 yards on 19 carries, much of it after the game had been decided. His seven-yard dash allowed Madison to avoid a shutout with 3:21 to go in the fourth.
“Jamar’s a senior, he ran the ball well all night,” Rhoads said. “He was gassed by the end. The line did a good job blocking for him. I was really proud of him for getting in the end zone.”
Williams was lifted at halftime in favor of Tyce McNair, who led a promising drive down to the Madison six-yard line, but Elliott Estes made a diving interception to prevent the Eagles from adding to the lead. It was East Rock’s first interception of the season.
“They’re a really good team, they’re a playoff team,” Rhoads said of the Eagles. “They have great players and a great coaching staff. It’s good to get to play them, because we know where we need to get.”
The Eagles return home next week to meet R.E. Lee in a non-district clash. Madison will have a bye week before traveling to Fluvanna County.