Hockman was forced into the starting role after starting quarterback Ty Clemons suffered a leg injury during last week’s game against Hillgrove. McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said Clemons would be a game-time decision next week when the Indians travel to Langston Hughes for Round 2.
“We’re banged up and we knew that it was going to be a hard-fought game,” Kyle Hockman said. “I’m proud of our team for hanging in there and making big plays when we had the chance. Our guys really stepped up and Bailey managed the game really well making some great throws.”
McEachern (9-2) took control of the game with two late touchdowns in the second quarter to push its lead to 29-7 heading into halftime. The first came on a 30-yard touchdown reception by Malik Williams, and the second on a 4-yard catch by Artise Clark.
Ryan Sherman scored the Indians’ only touchdown in the second half on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter.
“Our guys are excited about the win,” Kyle Hockman said. “We’ve been fighting these past two weeks and really working on becoming a better team and coming together at the right time.”
Starting running back Taj Griffin left the game due to a leg injury in the second quarter. He was held out the rest of the game for precautionary reasons. His status for the second round is still to be determined.
McEachern scored the first points of the game on a safety when the defense forced Newton (5-6) running back Atrice Hobbs to fumble the ball on the 5-yard line. Rams’ quarterback Romario Johnson kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
McEachern increased its lead to 8-0 on Andrew Heyward’s 15-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter. Heyward finished with a team-high 36 yards rushing.
McEachern’s defense continued to pressure Newton (5-6) all night as it forced the Rams into four interceptions. Later in the first quarter, Rahmoi Parsons made a juggling interception while fending off a Rams’ receiver to secure the ball. It was the first of two interceptions he would have on the night. Elijah Van Dorn and Tyler Woodley recorded the others.
On the first play of the second quarter, Alizee Chubb scored on a 5-yard run up the middle for the Indians, increasing their lead to 15-0.
The Rams’ lone first-half points came early in the second quarter on a 6-yard touchdown catch by DeAndre Huff, which cut McEachern’s lead to 15-7.