HEMLOCK, Ohio — Connect four complete.
The Eastern football team won its fourth straight decision on Friday in Perry County, with the Eagles defeating Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Miller by a 49-14 count.
The Eagles (6-2, 4-2 TVC Hocking) needed just 4:33 to break the scoreless tie, with Blake Newland finding the end zone on a 40-yard run to give guests a 6-0 lead.
Newland found paydirt again with 2:58 left in the opening quarter, this time scoring from 46 yards out and also running in the two-point conversion, giving EHS a 14-0 advantage.
Miller got six points back with 1:08 left in the opening stanza, as Kylan McClain hauled in a 65-yard scoring pass from Colby Bartley.
Eastern was back on the board 1:27 into the second quarter, with Blake Newland catching a 30-yard touchdown pass from Conner Ridenour. Mason Dishong made his first of five point-after kicks, giving EHS a 21-6 lead with 10:33 left in the half.
The Eagle lead was at 28-7 with 7:44 left in the second, as Steve Fitzgerald broke a 17-yard scoring run.
A 17-yard touchdown pass from Bartley to Trey McCoy, followed by a two-point conversion pass play by the same duo, cut the Eagle lead to 28-14 with 5:59 to go in the half.
Eastern responded in just 1:30, with Fitzgerald grabbing an 18-yard touchdown pass from Ridenour. The Eagle defense got in on the fun with 2:48 left in the first half, with a 57-yard pick-six from Newland giving the guests a 42-14 halftime edge.
EHS put the finishing touches on its 49-14 triumph just 1:57 into the second half, with Ryan Ross catching an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ridenour.
The Eagles claimed a 15-to-5 edge in first downs, and a 329-to-192 advantage in total offense, which included a 253-to-62 margin in rushing yards. Both teams lost a trio of fumbles, but Newland’s interception gave the Green and White a 4-to-3 victory in the turnover column. EHS was penalized three times for 13 yards, while the Falcons were flagged four times for 18 yards.
Newland led the Eagles on the ground with 12 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns, while catching a team-best two passes for 32 yards and another score. Brayden Smith had 69 total yards on three carries and one catch, Fitzgerald ended with 67 yards and two touchdowns on seven total touches, while Ryan Ross had 20 yards and one score on three touches.
Ridenour completed 5-of-9 passes for 76 yards and three touchdowns for Eastern.
For Miller, Bartley completed 7-of-19 passes for 130 yards and two scores, while rushing seven times for a net gain of 19 yards. McClain claimed a game-best three receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown, while Lucas Dishon picked up a team-high 24 yards on 11 carries.
The Eagles will be at East Shade River Stadium for the final time this fall next Friday, with 5-3 Belpre visiting.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.