(Brent Shipman, Staff)
Emblazoned with a Superman logo fashioned into a 'C' along with the phrase 'DOD', which stands for 'Death of a Dynasty', the Bluejays had just broken up East Prairie's three-year winning streak over their county rival.
"We've had a year to think about that since they unveiled that banner out on our field last year," Charleston head coach Brett Blackman said, referring to East Prairie's 'Dawning of a Dynasty' banner from last season's 55-15 win. "That didn't set well with us and we thought about it all year. We really worked hard this week in practice and were focused.
"I wish we could have handled it in a little bit better fashion and not had all the fumbles that we did, but that's something we have to work on."
Trailing 21-19 after two-straight East Prairie scores midway through the second quarter, the Bluejays took the lead on a 51-yard run from Jamaul Gray with 4:27 left in the half. On their next possession, Rontavious Clark scored his third touchdown of the game on a 36-yard run to put Charleston up 33-21 going into the break.
Holding East Prairie scoreless in the second half, Charleston continued to pad their lead, starting with a 45-yard touchdown run from Maurice Moore with 3:27 left in third quarter.
Putting the game out reach, Mike Kellum connected with Sumner Foster from 20 yards out early in fourth before a Jamaul Gray 35-yard touchdown put the Bluejays up by the 51-21 final with 4:42 to play.
"We couldn't stop them," Eagles' offensive coordinator Gary Scott said. "It's just that simple. Defensively the kids played hard, but we just couldn't come up with enough stops.
"You have to give credit to Charleston, they have some kids with a lot of speed and we didn't play well enough defensively to win the game."
Putting themselves in an early hole, the Bluejays started the game fumbling on their first play from scrimmage to set up a 15-yard East Prairie scoring drive that was capped with a 1-yard quarterback keeper from Shawn King.
Marching back down the field 54-yards on their next drive, however, Charleston tied things up on a 22-yard run from Clark. Clark then scored on a run from 50-yards out, followed by a 69-yard touchdown run from Gray to give the Bluejays a 19-7 lead with 11:08 to play in the half.
With 470 yards on the ground, the Bluejays finished the night with three 100-yard rushers. Leading the way, Gray had 202 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, followed by Rontavious Clark who rushed 11 times for 131 yards and three downs. Charleston's fullback, Moore, had 125 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. As a team the Bluejays averaged 10.4 yards-per-carry.
"The thing about those kids is those East Prairie kids play hard and they like to hit and play physical football," Blackman said. "I thought we were just more experienced with the backs and maybe some of the opponents that we've played this year payed off for us in that aspect."
As for East Prairie, who finished the game with 245 yards of total offense, Dalton Golightly handled the bulk of the carries, rushing for 93 yards and a score on 23 carries. Through the air, King was 6 for 9 with 81 yards while scoring twice on 1-yard quarterback keepers.
"I'm proud of our kids," Scott said. "It was a great effort. They've been through a lot and they don't make excuses, they just come out every week and play hard. Even though we didn't win the game we can still say that we gave it our all."
E -- Shawn King 1 run (kick good), 10:03
C -- Rontavious Clark 22 run (kick good), 8:42
C -- Rontavious Clark 50 run (kick missed), 1:09
C -- Jamaul Gray 69 run (run failed), 11:08
E -- Shawn King 1 run (kick good), 8:04
E -- Dalton Golighly 18 run (kick good), 4:37
C -- Jamaul Gray 51 run (pass failed), 4:27
C -- Rontavious Clark 36 run (run good), 1:32
C -- Maurice Moore 45 run (pass failed), 3:27
C -- Sumner Foster 20 pass from Mike Kellum (run failed), 10:23
C -- Jamaul Gray 35 run (kick missed), 4:42
Charleston -- Jamaul Gray 15-202, Maurice Moore 14-129, Rontavious Clark 11-131, Mike Hull 4-2, Robert Bogan 1-6. East Prairie -- Dalton Golighly 23-93, Shawn King 6-14, Cody Smith 2-(-10), Adrian Soto 13-36.
Charleston -- Mike Kellum 2-2-49. East Prairie -- Shawn King 6-9-81, Dalton Golightly 2-3-31.
Charleston -- Sumner Foster 2-49. East Prairie -- Adrian Soto 2-16, Damion Tipler 1-53, Dalton Golightly 3-21, Cody Smith 1-6, Shawn King 1-16.