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The Nighthawks had no answer for the Eagles' run game or defense while suffering a 38-9 home defeat. Ryan T Provencher

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Sheppard and Myers Stadium might be the home field of the Hanover football team, but on Friday night Bermudian Springs felt right at home. The Eagles trounced the Nighthawks, 38-9, to start off division play on the right foot.

Both offenses came out of their locker rooms looking sloppy. The first seven drives of the game resulted in either a punt or a turnover by the offense. The Nighthawks broke the pattern by with a 35-yard field goal by Everett Kenworthy.

The Eagles (3-1, 1-0 YAIAA Division III) responded quickly, chipping in a 25-yard field goal of their own. The following drive, Bermudian Springs quarterback Chase Dull found Brenton Krebs with a short pass, and the senior fullback weaved his way into the end zone.

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Both teams exchanged blows throughout the second quarter, highlighted by a 34-yard touchdown pass that senior Ben Egenrieder hauled in as time expired in the first half. When the dust cleared, the Eagles had a 17-9 lead going into halftime, and they wouldn’t allow the Nighthawks (2-2, 0-1) to score the rest of the game.

“The real thing we were focused on was tackling, tackling, tackling and not giving up the big plays,” Bermudian Springs head coach Jon DeFoe said. “We gave one up unfortunately, but we really didn’t have bad coverage. Tonight was definitely more in line what we expect defensively out of ourselves.”

While the defense did its job for the remainder of the game, the offense took advantage of a tired Hanover defensive line.

The Eagles’ ground game was powered by seniors Addison Wheeler and Ashton West, who combined for 208 of the Eagles’ 281 rushing yards on the night. Both running backs found the end zone once in the third quarter and West added on another score in the fourth on the way to the victory.

“I mean I played well, but I have to give all the credit to the line,” West said. “The line made a lot of holes for me tonight and had a lot of blocks and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

There’s no doubt that the running game was working for Bermudian. Seven players contributed to the Eagles' 281 rushing yards, and their coach acknowledged that he has to be careful when dealing with such a valuable resource.

“Right now, I told the guys it’s tough because we have a lot of guys who we can put the ball in their hands and can make plays,” Defoe said. “We have a lot of guys touching the ball and doing positive things with it, so I really like that dimension with our team.”

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