Strong second half leads Eagles to win

Adam Larck
Nick Mangieri, left, and Derrick Smith rush to try and retrieve a Peoria Notre Dame fumble in the first quarter.

The Eagles showed a bit of their youth early on Friday at Richwoods Stadium against Peoria Notre Dame.

However, all it took was a halftime for Dunlap to settle down. The team got two quick scores in the third quarter to lead to a 34-21 win.

“We’re a young team, and the first-half we had two blown assignments,” Dunlap coach Brett Cazalet said. “Outside of that, I think we would have been up 14-0. The kids really focused and they understood that, at halftime, if they came out and just relaxed, got their assignments and played the game with passion like they did that we’d be fine.”

After the Irish opened up the scoring in the first quarter, Conner Currier connected with a 40-yard pass to Davion McManis.

Byron Jordan scored on a goal line rush in the second quarter to put Dunlap up, 14-7, but Notre Dame scored on a 58-yard pass to tie it up at 14-all.

A big blocked pass by Brett Renner kept the Irish from another score before halftime.

Dunlap would score on their opening drive of the third quarter with a 31-yard pass to McManis, making it 20-14.

The Irish fumbled on the first play of their drive, letting the Eagles recover and setting up a 27-yard run from Jordan for another score,.

The Eagles finished the scoring with a 26-yard reception from Nick Mangieri in the fourth quarter.

Currier finished with 233 passing yards, with 126-yards going to McManis and 94 going to Mangieri.

Jordan also finished with 101 rushing yards.

Cazalet said they waited to see what the Irish would do defensively before deciding to open up the field with passes.

“They play a lot of man coverage,” he said. “We feel like, if a team plays us in man we should complete some passes. “