BELTON -- The Vipers struck the Eagles in week two action from Crusader Stadium on Thursday night
The Vandegrift Vipers beat the Ellison Eagles 44-7 Thursday night at Crusader Stadium in Belton by playing great defense and forcing mistakes by the Eagles and taking advantage of them.
Two blocked punts by senior defensive back Logan Arnold for the Vipers in the first quarter, one recovered in the end zone and the other leading to a touchdown gave the Vipers an early 14-0 lead and they never looked back.
For the Eagles, senior quarterback Faliefa Mauga found senior wide receiver Khalid Mendez for a 47-yard touchdown and their only score in the first half.
Two passing touchdowns from senior quarterback Ryan Back to senior wide receiver Taylor Dummar rounded out the scoring for the Vipers in the first half and sent the Vipers to the locker room with a 30-7 lead.
In the second half, neither team did much on offense as both teams punted on their first couple of possessions.
On the Vipers third possession of the second half, they began just in Eagle territory and the drive was capped off by a 23-yard touchdown run by Back who evaded multiple would be tacklers on the way to the endzone.
The last touchdown of the game was a pick-six by junior defensive back Reece Beauchamp.
After the game, Todd Wright, the Eagles head coach, gave his thoughts.
“We made too many mistakes early. Defensively we did some good things and then we get two punts blocked,” Wright said. “We’ve gotta figure out what we’re good at on offense and defense and stick with it and not change things up because every time we change things up, now we don’t get good at anything.”
The Eagles have now played Liberty Hill and Vandegrift in their first two games of the season and Wright hopes that the tough nondistrict schedule will help his team when district starts.
“We’re playing good ones, we didn’t pick the easy schedule and we do that for a reason,” Wright said. “In hopes that when we get to district there won’t be anybody faster or anybody bigger.”
Back threw two touchdowns, both of which went to Dummar. Back also ran for two touchdowns.
For the Eagles, senior running back Damashja Harris ran for 58 yards as a lone bright spot for the Eagles offense.
The Eagles will head to Hurst on Thursday for a matchup with Bell at 7 p.m.
The Vipers will play Stony Point at home next Friday night with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Vipers 44, Eagles 7
Vipers 14 16 7 7
Eagles 0 7 0 0
Vipers - Logan Arnold, Punt block return, 8:46
Vipers - Taylor Dummar, pass from Ryan Back, 2:36
Eagles - Khalid Mendez, pass from Faliefa Mauga, 11:02
Vipers - Ryan Back, rush, 6:08
Vipers - Taylor Dummar, pass from Ryan Back, 0:20
Vipers - Ryan Back, rush, 7:11
Vipers - Reece Beauchamp, interception for touchdown, 5:46
Rushes-Yards 35 - 169 28-74
Passing Yards 59 97
Comp-Att-Int-Yards 5-13-2-97 8-15-1-59
RUSHING: Vipers, Ryan Sheppard 12-70
PASSING: Vipers, Ryan Back 8-15-2-1-59
RECEIVING: Eagles, Trejon Spiller, 3-41