Shortly after Anna Belle Gallaher was crowned homecoming queen, the first-quarter fireworks began with 41 points scored, including 34 by the home team.
Jajuan (Speedy) Foutch sped 33 yards to the house on the game’s second play.
Ezell-Harding, with just one win coming in, made hay through the air as Derek Griffin caught Jonah Hedges’ slant and took off 82 yards to tie the score 7-7.
But Friendship needed only three plays to score again on a Foutch 47 yards sweep.
Jacob Bostian intercepted a Hedges pass at the Ezell-Harding 32-yard line. Braden Reece’s first pass of the night went to Justin Seagraves two plays later for 23 yards and a touchdown for a 20-7 lead.
Reece ran it in from 2 yards out for a 27-7 lead.
Following a Dorian Champion interception, Foutch scored on a 17-yard run for a 34-7 lead and the rout was on.
Seagraves swept 13 yards for a second-quarter touchdown. Ben Jamison, who missed the early part of the season with an injury, got in on the act with a 7-yard scoring scamper for a 47-7 lead.
After linebacker Jackson Cherry recovered an Eagle fumble, Neill Kane kicked a 38-yard field goal for a 50-7 halftime lead.
“Our kids did a good job,” Commander coach John McNeal said. “(Ezell’s early score) Those things are going to happen.
“After that, our kids took control from then on.”
With Friendship’s second unit playing the second half, Kane connected from 27 yards out for the final FCS score.
But Hedges, who hit 11 of 19 passes for 292 yards, connected with Griffin again on another home-run ball, this one from 48 yards for Ezell’s final score. Griffin caught five passes for 197 yards.
Foutch finished with 142 yards on 11 carries while Seagraves scampered for 65 on four, all in the first half as the Commanders climbed to 6-0 for the season with Mt. Juliet Christian coming to Possum Town for an East Region II-A showdown at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.
“This was one of the hotter weeks, practice-wise,” McNeal said. “But it’s always good to get more depth and get people more experience. That’s the good thing about games like this where more people can get game time. JV is great for them, we play a lot of them, but this is a little different.”
Friendship Christian 53, Ezell-Harding 14
Ezell-Harding 7 0 7 0—14
Friendship Christian 34 16 3 0—53
Friendship Christian—Jajuan Foutch 33 run (Neill Kane kick), 11:21.
Ezell-Harding—Derek Griffin 82 pass from Jonah Hedges (Justin McLean kick), 10:59.
Friendship Christian—Foutch 47 run (Kane kick), 9:53.
Friendship Christian—Justin Seagraves 23 pass from Braden Reece (kick failed), 8:44.
Friendship Christian—Reece 2 run (Kane kick), 2:54.
Friendship Christian—Foutch 17 run (Kane kick), 1:46.
Friendship Christian—Seagraves 13 run (Kane kick), 8:47.
Friendship Christian—Ben Jamison 7 run (kick failed), 6:12.
Friendship Christian—Kane 38 FG, 1:41.
Friendship Christian—Kane 27 FG, 7:20.
Ezell-Harding—Griffin 48 pass from Hedges (McLean kick), 1:59.
First downs 8 16
—Rush 1 15
—Pass 6 1
—Penalty 1 0
Rushes-yards 20-6 41-285
Passing yards 300 28
—Comp.-Att.-Int. 12-24-2 2-3-0
Punt-avg. 1-34.-0 1-39.0
Penalties-yards 10-99 8-51
Fumbles lost 2 0
RUSHING—Ezell-Harding: Logan Barker 8-16, Jesse Thompson 2-(-4), Kejuan Calloway 3-8, Jordan K. Hunt 1-0, Derek Griffin 3-(-7), Jonah Hedges 3-(-7). Friendship Christian: Justin Seagraves 4-65, Jajuan Foutch 11-142, Braden Reece 3-15, Ben Jamison 2-29, Dylon Goolsby 5-24, Drew Porter 6-(-3), Jaheim Robinson 6-30, Team: 1-(-16), Cabe Wyatt 3-(-1).
PASSING—Ezell-Harding: Derek Griffin 1-5-0—8, Jonah Hedges 11-19-2—292. Friendship Christian: Braden Reece 2-3-0—28.
RECEIVING—Ezell-Harding: Derek Griffin 5-197, Ingram Page 4-79, Kejuan Calloway 1-(-4), Jordan K. Hunt 1-14, Marc Crues 1-14.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None