CLAREMONT — The first setback of the season was a big one for the East Burke football team. On Saturday, host Bunker Hill smothered the Cavaliers’ offense and racked up points against the EB defense in a 47-6 Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference game postponed one day.
The Bears led 21-0 by halftime and East Burke didn’t find the scoreboard until the final minutes.
In the NWFAC standings, the loss puts the Bears and Cavaliers in a second-place tie at 3-1 behind heavy favorite Hibriten, which scored a 50-point win versus Draughn a day before.
“We knew this game would be a pivot point for us,” said first-year EB coach Derrick Minor. “Bunker Hill is good, physical and fast. They have all their areas covered.”
Both teams struggled to get a grip early as each squad lost two first-quarter fumbles. But the Bears struck first after one of those recoveries of a loose EB ball as quarterback Carson Elder completed a 55-yard touchdown pass to Kaliq Ramseur for the 7-0 advantage.
Elder got his second touchdown pass two drives later on a 50-yard completion to Jay Abrams and running back Kaden Robinson ended a six-play drive with a two-yard touchdown run to go into the intermission with the three-score lead.
The scoring onslaught didn't end there for the Bears on their homecoming night.
Abrams opened the third quarter with a 52-yard touchdown run off a reverse, followed by Ramseur scoring on a 62-yard punt return and concluding with Robinson scoring his second and third touchdown runs of the game from nine and 80 yards out.
East Burke eventually got on the board with a 24-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run by Blane Fulbright, ending a 10-play drive aided by two consecutive facemask penalties charged to Bunker Hill. Fulbright finished with 79 rushing yards on 24 carries, a step back from his previous county-leading rushing average of 218.7 yards per game.
EB quarterback Carter Crump completed only one pass for 10 yards to Austin Sellers and Dawson Langley ran for 31 yards on seven tries.
Michael Magni and Noah Rooks led defensively with one fumble recovery each, with one of those fumbles forced by Cash Norman, who led EB with 11 tackles. Spencer Goins had six stops.
“We were not where we want to be, and this was a good test,” Minor said. “Every test turns into a testimony, and I know the Lord has got big things planned for this team and we are just getting started.”
The Bears racked up 451 total yards, led by Elder’s 204 passing yards on 11 of 14 completions and Robinson’s 145 rushing yards on 13 carries.
East Burke returns home this Friday to host the Panthers.