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Grove City Eagles Soar Past Meadville, 31-13

Written by: on Saturday, October 24th, 2009

GROVE CITY —  Not even Mother Nature and a steady rain could stop the Grove City Eagles Friday night.

Taking care of business, the Eagles broke open a close game with 21 second half points as they downed Meadville 31-13 in a key District 10 Region 5-AAA contest.

The Eagles opened the scoring when Nick Reddick ripped into the end zone from 10 yards out for the game’s first score with 1:35 left in the opening period, but the Bulldogs answered when Dearius Goodrum bolted up the middle for a 39-yard scoring jaunt four minutes into the second quarter.

Grove City place-kicker Jeff Hershberger gave the Eagles the lead for keeps when he nailed a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the first half and from there, Grove City outscored their guests 21-6 in the second half to pull away for the win.

As for Grove City’s strong second half, it might have had something to do with the Eagles attire.

After wearing gold jerseys in the first half, the Eagles came out for the second half wearing their black jerseys and Bell felt that might have had something to do with his team’s performance.

“We switched jerseys at halftime,” quipped Bell. “We wore black last week and played the way we were supposed to play and I told the kids (at halftime), hey, get those gold things off and put the black ones on.”

Although the GC ground game was in high gear, the Eagles were somewhat hampered with starting tailback Jamarr Patterson standing on the sidelines in street clothes, while his replacement, Wes Phipps left the game early in the third period with an ankle injury.

That is when Bell went deeper into his bench and called on freshman running back Harold Price and Price responded by rushing 10 times for 83 yards while scoring a pair of touchdowns.

“That little freshman, he made some nice runs,” said Bell with a smile on his face. “We might end up asking ourselves why we didn’t play him more. He is a tough little player and has been starting on defense for us all year. He has looked good in practice, but with as many kids as we have, it is hard at times to get everybody in there. He showed tonight that he was ready to play and he made some big plays for us.”

In addition to the spark provided by Price, quarterback Tyler Dagres had another solid game as he rushed 10 times for 75 yards while also completing 3-of-8 passes for another 20 yards.

“Tyler played another good game for us tonight,” said Bell. “He completed a few passes in some (bad) weather and when we put Mason (backup quarterback Depeal) in there he made one of the nicest fakes I have ever seen and ran for a touchdown. This time of the year, you need to have some people backing up because of injuries, cold weather and things like that. We are at the point where we are rotating a number of players in and out and at this time of the year, that is important.”

The Eagle running game racked up 364 yards en route to the win and that is good. But on the other side of the ledger, Grove City was flagged 10 times for 60 yards, and that didn’t sit well with the veteran GC mentor.

“Our offensive line did a nice job, other than the penalties,” said Bell. “You can’t always overcome those, but tonight we were able to.”

Leading the ground assault for the Eagles was Marty Phipps with 100 yards on 10 carries, while Dagres (75) and Price (83) gave Phipps a lot of support. Eagle place-kicker Jeff Hershberger also made his presence felt with a perfect 4-for-4 night in PATs to go along with his field goal.

With the win, the Eagles move to 5-3 overall, still unbeaten at 3-0 in region play with only Warren remaining in regional play next Friday night at Warren.

“We don’t have a lot on them so we don‘t know a lot about them,” said Bell of Warren. “I just reminded our kids tonight that is the one team standing in our way of finishing the region undefeated. It is going to be a long bus ride and all of that stuff, but I think we planned it out and are ready to go. At this time of the year with playoffs, you have be able to travel and win football games. With the exception of the Greenville game, our home field has been real good to us this year so it will be good for us to play a road game and get ourselves ready to go (for the playoffs).”

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