Its foray into Highland County continues Friday when the Astros travel to Greenfield to face the McClain Tigers.
“McClain is 2-0 on the year and they are playing some good football at the moment,” EC head coach Steven Olds said. “The fullback and quarterback are very good players and we will have to contain them if we want to be successful.
“Defensively, they are running a 5-2 and playing with a lot of confidence. We are looking forward to the challenge and expect a good, physical football game this Friday.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Astros are 3-0, having defeated Hillsboro last week 33-14.
While the final score may reflect a comfortable margin, it was anything but comfortable for East Clinton.
“You could say it was a tale of two halves but for us it felt like two completely different games,” Olds said.
East Clinton got off to a good start, then Hillsboro made a game of it. The Astros led 19-14 before two fourth quarter defensive touchdowns put the game away.
“We played a good first half, then came out with the big special teams play to start the second and you can’t help but feel like you’re in control of the game,” said Olds, reflecting on a great start by his team.
But games are four quarters long, not two or three. Very few teams will stop playing hard or playing to win when they get down. Jack O’Rourke’s squad was no different.
“Momentum shifted in the third quarter when we turned it over in our own territory, which led to their first score,” said Olds. “From that point on I felt like we were on our heels a bit. Thankfully, Glenn and Brody stepped up and made a couple of huge plays to put the game out of reach.”
Glenn Peacock had a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown to make it 26-14 then Brody Fisher picked off a Hillsboro pass and went 43 yards to the end zone to cap the win.
While the offense and special teams carried East Clinton to an early advantage, it was the red and gray defense that put the exclamation point on the win.
“Coach (Bryan) Floyd is doing a great job game planning for our opponents,” Olds said. “I feel like this is the best prepared team that we have coached and that is due in large part because of the work that he and coach (Nick) Anderson have put into developing a plan to stop the other team. The entire staff has done a great job of implementing those plans, as well.”