United Eagles wear down the Bears

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LEETONIA, Ohio (WKBN) – The strength of the United Eagles football team this year is their offensive and defensive lines.  They used that advantage to methodically wear down the Leetonia Bears Friday night in a 33-0 win to improve to 3-1 on the season, 1-0 in the EOAC.

“I think both teams are very physical, and we both like to run the ball.  Paul (Hulea) is old school and we both just like to grind it out and be tough in the trenches,” Eagles coach DJ Ogilvie said.
“It was tough.  They have played in several four-quarter games and we played one half.  And it showed.  At least now we got into a four-quarter game, and now we turn the page and move on,” Bears coach Paul Hulea remarked.

The Eagles overcame a penalty ejection of their starting quarterback Grant Knight with freshman Parker Newburn looking like a seasoned veteran as he threw a touchdown pass in the first half and then sealed the game away in the second half with two rushing touchdowns.

“Parker is a smart football player for one, and the biggest thing for him is that he went in there and he showed composure,” Ogilvie said.  “The moment wasn’t too big for him.  He is just going to get better and better.”

“I was pretty nervous,” Newburn admitted.  “I haven’t played that much varsity, but I went in and did fine.

The Eagles got on the board at the end of their opening possession as they drove to the Bears 6-yard line following a fumble recovery.  Sophomore kicker Luke Courtney booted a 23-yard kick to make it 3-0 at the 9:07 mark of the first quarter.

They added to their lead on their second drive as they had two touchdown runs called back due to penalties, but once again Courtney provided a successful kick.  This time it was a 35-yard kick to make it 6-0 with 1:38 left in the opening frame.

“I just go out there and take a deep breath and make good ball contact.  After that, I just hope for the best,” Courtney explained.

With the Eagles facing a third and 20 at the Bears’ 24, Newburn came in to hit Courtney on a 24-yard pass for a touchdown.  That score gave the Eagles a 13-0 advantage at the intermission.

“Yeah, that put us ahead by a little bit more.  I was looking for Grant (Knight) and he was in triple coverage so I turned to the other side and Luke (Courtney) was open,” Newburn explained the scoring play.

The Eagles would essentially put the game away to start the second half as they drove 50-yards on 8-plays with Newburn scoring on a 9-yard run.  That score at the 9:03 mark of the third quarter gave the Eagles a 19-0 lead.

The Eagles would score twice more in the fourth quarter as Cody Cope ran in from 26-yards out to make it 26-0 with 11:08 left in the game, and then Newburn broke loose for a 46-yard run with 8:29 remaining in the contest.

“The score wasn’t indicative of how close of a game it was,” Hulea remarked.  “I’m proud of our kids, that didn’t back down and they played hard to the end.”

The Eagles will play at Columbiana next Friday.  The Bears will host Valley Christian next Friday.

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