UPLAND — Its senior stud limited to kicking duties, Eastbrook was already up against the ropes when Western visited for the teams’ annual Week 2 clash.
Five first-half fumbles put the Grant County Panthers down for the count.
The Howard County crew pounced on Eastbrook’s miscues to go up 18-3 at the half, holding on for a 24-11 win Friday night. Western improved to 2-0 on the season, snapping a five-game losing streak to the Grant County Panthers which included two losses last year in Nate Andrews’ first season at the Russiaville helm.
“It really doesn’t matter what our record is as long as we’re improving and getting better each week, and I think we are doing that,” Andrews said. “Last year we really improved against them and thought, coming over here [Friday], that we had a good opportunity.
“With their stud [quarterback Jacob Singer] being out of the game, it probably gave us an even better opportunity. The thing is, they are a talented program and as a program it doesn’t matter who is in or who is out. They don’t build their talent on one player. Eastbrook is Eastbrook. I admire that.”
Singer put Eastbrook up 3-0 with a 19-yard field goal on its first possession of the game, but that’s all of the offensive noise Jeff Adamson’s squad would make for the rest of the first half as his team coughed up the football on five of its next seven possessions, three of which Western turned into points.
“That made it not very realistic to stay in the game,” Adamson said. “It was kind of a miracle that the score was as close as it was at halftime as many times as we put the ball on the ground in the first half.”
For the game, Western recovered all six of the fumbles that Eastbrook committed.