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ECI's Ealey breaks Darius Walker's TD record

ECI cruises through round two

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    TWIN CITY – After last week’s pummeling of Seminole County, the Bulldogs of Emanuel County Institute welcomed Dooly County to town as they rolled into Rountree Stadium for the second round of the 2007 state football playoffs. Though the Bobcats’ record was a formidable 10-1 entering the contest, the Bulldogs made quick work of their latest victims, gaining the upper hand early and refusing to let go as they cruised to a 35-0 victory.
    As has been the case all season, the Bulldogs were paced by their ferocious rushing attack. Together, the two-headed monster of Washaun Ealey and Nick Cross accounted for 206 of ECI’s 271 rushing yards.  Individually, Ealey was able to rewrite a page in the GHSA record books, breaking the Georgia single-season touchdown mark formerly held by Herschel Walker.
    The Bobcats of Dooly County were able to move the ball all night, but the Bulldog defense consistently came up with the big play to keep the upper hand.  Twice, Dooly was able to drive into ECI territory only to have pass attempts wind up in the hands of Bulldog defenders.  Even when Terrance Neal, Dooly’s big bruising fullback, was able to move the chains, the ECI defense would dig down and find the strength to kill a potential scoring drive.    Ealey kicked off the scoring midway through the first quarter. After an interception had given the Bulldogs a short field, they powered their way to the Dooly 5 yard line and Ealey found room around the left end for a touchdown.
    Two possessions later, ECI struck again. A 22 yard romp by Ealey drove the ball inside the Bobcat 10 yard line and two plays later, Ealey was able to finish the job from 2 yards out. That touchdown was his 48th of the 2007 season, which vaulted him into first place in the Georgia high school record books for touchdowns in a season.
    “We’re certainly proud of him and we’re proud that his name is going to go down in the record books,” said ECI head coach Milan Turner after the game. “But it’s really a team effort and he knows that. He’s got an offensive line that does a great job creating holes for him. The best part about it is that he and all of his teammates are great representatives for their school and their community, so we’re proud of all of them.”
    As the second half began, the Bulldog offense picked up right where it had left off, motoring down the field in just five plays to bring the score to 21-0. From there, ECI could do no wrong, consistently starting with good field position and capitalizing every time. By the end of the third quarter, the lead had ballooned to 35-0 and the fourth quarter was rendered merely a formality.
    The defense was even more impressive, locking down the running game and repeatedly harassing Bobcat quarterback Kentez Williams when he dropped back to pass. After allowing 121 yards of total offense to Dooly County in the first half, the Bulldog defense was impenetrable. The Bobcats had total offense of -7 yards after halftime and did not record a first down in the second half.
    “I thought our defense was outstanding tonight,” remarked Turner. “I’ll be honest. We were a little concerned about their speed and athleticism, but we executed very well and did a great job of shutting them down.  I’m a little surprised really. I didn’t think that we’d shut them out, and that’s a great feeling, but now it’s on to next week.”
    And so the dream lives on for yet another week for the Bulldogs. With the win, ECI runs its record to 12-0 on the season. Next week they will take on Warren County, who defeated Jefferson on Friday night, with the winner headed to the Georgia Dome for the state semifinals.
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