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Bald Eagle Area dominates Rangers; heads to D6 championship

By Kenny Varner

WINGATE – Total domination.

With its 49-13 win Friday night against Forest Hills, the Bald Eagle Area football team once again advances to the District 6 2A Championship.

Quarterback Carson Nagle led the offensive charge as he threw for 331 yards on the evening.

”We’re proud of the kids. It was a very physical game. I thought that Forest Hills brought it physically and our guys answered back,” said Bald Eagle Area coach Jessie Nagle. “We gave up a couple plays early. They responded well and we took care of that with big plays in the second half.”

His offensive line protected him the entire evening allowing Nagle enough time to set up in the pocket and finish with 22 complete passes.

For Forest Hills early on the  visitors kept up early in the first half before the Eagles came out in the second half, picking the game up a few notches.

The Rangers were led by quarterback Nate Cornell who passed for 174 yards while running back Xander Williamson was all over, rushing for 63, passing for eight and catching three passes for 67 yards in a losing effort.

Forest Hills started with the ball but that would be temporary while Bald Eagle’s defense held after three plays.

After that the Rangers punted the ball away.

The Bald Eagle offense took the ball immediately downfield going seven plays, putting the ball on the Forest Hills two.

Forest Hills defense made an early stand, preventing the Eagles to cross the goal line.

But like in the first Ranger possession, the Bald Eagle defense kept them in check, forcing a second punt.

The punt made an Eagle bounce as the Eagles started with the ball on the Rangers own 25.

Nagle and company took advantage of the great field position and on the third play from scrimmage Carson Nagle tossed an 11-yard TD pass to Gavin Burns. With Kaden Burns kick, the Eagles grabbed the lead at 7-0 with 2:47 left in the first quarter.

The momentum continued on Bald Eagles’ side in the second quarter.

Bald Eagle went to its running game and handed it to speedster Kahale Burns. Burns scorched his way into the end zone on an 11-yard TD run, upping its lead to 14-0 at the 10:53 mark of the second quarter.

Forest Hills started to click on offense as Cornwell began hitting his marks, leading his team field and into Bald Eagle territory.

With 7:12 left in the first half, Cornwell called his own number and punched it in on a 1-yard run.

Defensively, Forest Hills stood up and got the ball right back.

It looked as the Rangers were going to tie the contest as Xander Richardson scored on a 5-yard run, cutting the Eagle lead to 14-13 with the PAT left to go.  Bald Eagle special team’ stood up and blocked the extra point, keeping the slim 14-13 lead.

Five minute was more than enough for the Eagles offense as it went to its bag of tricks. Nagle tossed the pitch out to Kahale Burns faked an end around and pulled up and found Cam Watkins on a 16-yard reception reception, with still 1:12 left in the first half.

In the third quarter, the Eagles got the opening kick off and was able to extend its lead.

The Eagles were just starting to sizzle.

Nagle opened things up as he hit a 61-yard pass to Kahale Burns with 11:17 showing on the third quarter clock.

From there, the defense continued to keep the Rangers defense at bay, keeping them off the scoreboard allowing the offense to extend its lead.

With time running down in the third Nagle went to the air once again as he found Gavin Burns wide open on a 7-yard TD pass with 3:51 left in the third, upping it to a 35-13 lead.

With the start of the Fourth  Quarter came, the Eagles found themselves just 12-minutes away from their shot at the District 6 championship.

Cam Dubbs 2-yard run made it a 42-13 game with nine minutes left , 9:10.

With Forest Hills calling an all-out blitz. With everyone was coming at Nagle, Nagle never flinched and hit Mason Reese who was all alone on a post route. Nagle connected with Reese on 50-yard with 7:11 left in the game.

From there, it was just a matter of time before the time ran off the clock and the Eagles punched their ticket to a District 6 championship game against Richland next Friday night.

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