"If we don't bounce back this week (against Chaffee) it's going to be a long season," East Prairie running back/linebacker Aaron Miller said. "We couldn't just bounce back in a small win. We had to do it in a big way to get our confidence back.
"And we got it back."
The Eagles (4-2) did as they pleased at the newly named Mark Whitaker Memorial Field and Terry Glenzy Track and Field Complex in Chaffee as East Prairie ruined the Devils' homecoming festivities in a 42-0 route.
"We could have tucked our heads and hid or we could come out and be very emotional this week and get back on track," East Prairie head coach Jason Aycock said. "They had a good week of practice and the come back and got back on the winning track. They did a great job."
From the Eagles' opening drive they were in control. An 8-play, 67-yard drive ended on a 3-yard run by Aaron Miller, his first of four times he's see the end zone.
In four of East Prairie's seven drives under center, they reached pay dirt. Two or their three non-scoring drives were cut short by the end of halftime and regulation.
East Prairie gained 356 total yards with Miller leading them on the ground with 100 yards and two rushing touchdowns. East Prairie quarterback Connor Scott threw for 125 yards and one touchdown.
"You can't take away from (Chaffee's) defense, but, our o-line was getting the push," said Miller. "I feel like we were doing our jobs up front and that allowed us to get space to run."
Chaffee (2-4) was down 13-0 at the end of the first quarter and 21-0 at the half. A 1-yard run by Zach Shipman and Miller's second running touchdown of the night from 13-yards out gave the Eagles a 21-point lead at the break.
"They whooped us on both sides of the ball," Chaffee head coach Charlie Vickery said. "There's no question about that. We knew coming in they had a good team and they didn't do anything that we hadn't worked on all week, but they whooped us."
Facing a three possession deficit to begin the second half, Chaffee was already looking at a big hill to climb. The Eagles, however, made it a mountain.
East Prairie scored on their first play from scrimmage to open the third quarter on a 50-yard reverse to JT Aycock. Miller received the snap for Scott who passed it along to JT Aycock who ran down the right side of the field for the score.
"That was actually a check off by our offensive coordinator," said Aycock. "We came up to the line of scrimmage and he seen something. It was definitely the back-breaker of the game. I think thats the first time that's ever happened since I've been the coach.
"Definitely a big key for us."
The Eagles went on to score as many points in the third quarter as they did in the entire second half. Aycock's run was followed by a 10-yard pass from Scott to Miller which was then followed up by a 42-yard interception return by Miller, which was the last of his four touchdowns.
"You've never seen a dude so excited," Miller said about his first interception return of his career.
The Eagles offense seemingly did as they pleased. East Prairie did not have a single negative play - except for one penalty - and was only stopped four times on the ground for a no gain while Scott threw just two incompletions. The rest of East Prairie's 37 total plays were for positive yardage.
"We kind of knew what defense to expect that they would run on us," Aycock said. "All we done was, with our system that we have now, we see what the defense gives us and we call the play. We had the right play called at the right time tonight. The offensive line came out and controlled the tempo."
Just as the offense was clicking, the Eagles' defense followed suit. Chaffee was held to a total of 155 yards; 53 of those yards came on Chaffee's first drive. The Red Devils were forced to punt three times, were intercepted twice and turned it over on downs three times in their eight series'.
"The last three weeks we've gotten a lot better but, I feel like we took a step backwards tonight," Vickery said following Chaffee's previous two wins including a big one over rival Scott City. "I felt like the first half, even though we didn't score, we were mixing it up and moving the ball. Then the second half, they pinned their ears back and came after us.
"We just need to pick up the pieces."
Although the Eagles may have took the first step of getting back on track and erasing their disappointing loss to Liberty, they still know a lot of work still has to be done.
"We still have to continue to improve though," said Aycock. "There's always areas where you can improve."
E -- Aaron Miller 3 run (Frankie Nave kick); 5:51
E -- Zach Shipman 1 run (kick failed), 0:03
E -- Miller 13 run (Connor Scott run), 4:40
E -- JT Aycock 50 run (Nave kick), 11:38
E -- Miller 10 pass from Connor Scott (Nave kick), 6:08
E -- Miller 42 interception return (Nave kick), 3:43
East Prairie -- Aaron Miller 17-100, Connor Scott 1-12, Zach Shipman 5-23, Alan Miller 1-19, JT Aycock 3-68, Frankie Nave 2-4, Brad Beck 1-5. Chaffee -- Tyson Estes 11-44, Cody Enderle 5-12, Trevor Cannon 3-9, Jordan Yahn 3-0, Alex Davie 1-0.
East Prairie -- Connor Scott 5-7-0 125. Chaffee -- Jordan Yahn 7-14-1 39, Cody Payne 5-13-1 51
East Prairie -- Zach Shipman 1-55, Devin Cook 1-9, Mikey Russell 1-27, JT Aycock 1-24, Aaron Miller 1-10. Chaffee -- Zach Dannenmuller 1-10, Mike Rutherford 6-33, Andrew Terhune 2-32, Alex Davie 1-7, Tyson Estes 1-3, Cody Enderle 1-5.