EAGLE POINT — As a 6-foot, 255-pound lineman, Jacob Wagner hoped to get a touchdown his senior season. And since the coaches weren’t going to call his number, Wagner created his own scoring chances.
Wagner blocked two punts and recovered one in the end zone, spearheading a dominant special teams effort as Crater rumbled past Eagle Point 54-13 on Friday night in the Eagles’ homecoming game.
“It was awesome,” said Wagner, who accounted for the Comets’ lone score of the second half. “I was so glad to get a touchdown this year. Best feeling ever.”
The Comets struck for five touchdowns in a 33-point second quarter, including a 60-yard punt return by Cade Weaver and a punt blocked by Tony Flores that was recovered by Cole Ryerson in the end zone for a touchdown.
Crater also took advantage of short fields set up by its special teams and defense: Bailey Robles rushed for a 4-yard touchdown following Wagner’s first blocked punt; Nate Horton caught a 32-yard scoring pass from Trever Davis following a 7-yard punt by Eagle Point; and Ethan Scott rushed for a 7-yard touchdown after Ryerson caused a fumble that was recovered by Jacob Chenoweth.
“Those things make the score look ugly when those things happen,” Comets coach Randy Waite said. “But it was good for our guys. We got the things done that we needed to get done.”
In the first quarter, Crater showed it could score methodically, too, putting together a 13-play, 90-yard drive to open the game, capped by a 10-yard touchdown run by Weaver.
On their third possession, the Comets marched 65 yards in nine plays, with Davis scoring on a run from 1 yard out.
“I thought we were efficient, the first half especially,” Waite said. “I mean, we got some short fields, but we were also efficient when we got the ball.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles struggled to move the ball with consistency until late in the second half, when Crater rested many of its starting players.
After a promising opening drive that stalled in Crater territory, Eagle Point failed to pick up a first down on its next six possessions as the Comets dominated both sides of the line scrimmage.
“That was the theme going into the game: We have to be able to block and sustain our blocks and then also get off blocks on defense,” Eagles coach Seth Womack said. “And really we just didn’t do a very good job of that tonight.”
Down 41-0 late in the second quarter, the Eagles’ stagnant offense came to life in the blink of an eye, when freshman Devin Bradd broke loose for an 81-yard touchdown run.
Bradd, who rushed for a game-high 168 yards on 24 carries, added a 29-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter, leading the boisterous and highlight-hungry homecoming crowd to chant, “He’s a freshman!”
“It was pretty cool,” Bradd said. “That was nice. I didn’t expect it.”
Said Womack: “Devin’s doing things that you would see juniors and seniors do. He’s a kid that’s just getting better and better each week. He’s taking a bigger and bigger role for our team and he’s taking on a great leadership role. He’s a player you want on your team for sure as a coach.”
Womack added: “We’re a young team and we’re getting better — it may not have looked like it — but we are getting better each week and we’re trying to find the right guys to be on the field and that’s always tough whenever you’ve got a bunch of sophomores and juniors playing varsity.”
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