East Pennsboro, Big Spring combine for nearly 1,000 yards in wild affair

01 September 2017


By Andy Shay

4th Down Magazine

They should have put an APB for defense Friday night at George R. Saxton Jr. Memorial Stadium.

By the second quarter you just knew neither East Pennsboro’s or Big Spring’s defense was going to have any say in the outcome.

The two offenses, each powered by a stud running back, combined for 981 yards and 101 points. East Pennsboro used 17 unanswered points in the second half to open up some breathing room and came away with a 55-46 victory over the Bulldogs.

Big Spring scored 46 points and had nearly 500 yards of offense ... and lost the football game.

Senior RB Onasis Neely powered East Pennsboro with 262 yards on 31 carries and four touchdowns. His 54-yard TD run in the first quarter was highlight-reel worthy.

Not to be outdone, Big Spring senior running back Ryan Adams countered with 212 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns.

It was ... one ... crazy ... game!

“It was crazy, I agree,” Neely said. “I give them full credit, Big Spring. They are a lot better than last year. They jumped on us and we fell behind. Then something clicked. My offensive line did a good job. For most of those guys it was their first start. They gave me some holes.”

The teams combined for 37 points and 260 yards in the first quarter alone, as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-17 lead.

Late in the opening quarter the teams combined to score three touchdowns in 39 seconds on three consecutive plays.

Big Spring’s Charles Bowers started the point binge with a 6-yard touchdown run. Then Neely ripped off a 54-yard scoring gallop (the highlight-reel one). And Bowers answered right back with a 92-yard kickoff return.

All this came in the initial 12 minutes.

After punting on its first possession, East Pennsboro’s offense scored the next five times it had the ball to grab a 38-26 halftime lead.

Big Spring, which had four of its 20 pass attempts by quarterback Ethan Lee, managed only one touchdown in each of the middle two quarters.

Lee did have four picks, but he also threw for 190 yards and rushed for another 67 yards to finish with 257 total yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground.

The Bulldogs battled turnovers. It was penalties that dogged the Panthers all night. East Pennsboro had a whopping 15 accepted penalties for a staggering 163 yards.

“Yeah, we’ll be having a talk with the guys about discipline and penalties. We can’t have that many penalties and yards. They are much improved, I will say that,” East Pennsboro coach Todd Stuter said. “Adams is a good running back. Thank goodness we had 12. All around the tackling was bad. We had shots, we just didn’t make the tackles.”