After last season’s miraculous run to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, many thought that Warren Easton’s run atop District 9-4A wouldn’t carry over into 2015.
Somebody forgot to tell them that.
The Eagles reeled off their second straight dominant performance in district play on Thursday with a 70-6 win over Riverdale at Joe Yenni Stadium.
“We never doubted ourselves. We know we are trying to build a program over here,” Easton coach Tony Hull said. “We don’t want to put out a good team every four years. We want to build a program.”
Despite not having star wide receiver Clyde Chriss because of a knee injury, the Easton offense kept up its recent dominance, racking up 228 yards and six touchdowns on seven possessions in the first half before many of its starters were removed from the game.
The Eagles (5-1, 2-0) have outscored opponents 226-40 in their last four games and appear to be hitting their stride after having to replace so many starters from last year’s team, which made it to the Class 4A state championship game.
Easton quarterback Tyriek Starks completed 11 of 18 passes for 161 yards, with 31 rushing yards and five total touchdowns.
“We are playing well on offense, and everything is just coming together,” Starks said. “We knew we had good players on the team, we just had to get on the same page.”
The Eagles — No. 6 among large schools in the New Orleans Advocate Super 10 — started things off quickly Thursday, marching 66 yards in four plays on the game’s opening drive, concluding with a floating 26-yard touchdown throw from Starks to Yoheinz Tyler.
After the score on the opening drive, Easton defensive back Chris Fortin started making plays on the back end for the Eagles. The junior had interceptions on each of the next two Rebels’ drives, including one that he returned 62 yards for a touchdown to increase the Easton lead to 14-0 with 3:19 left in the quarter.
Riverdale coach Nick Brumfield was ejected late in the first quarter after a dispute with the officials — and one play after his exit, Joseph Boyd scampered in for an 8-yard touchdown.
Starks added touchdown runs of 13 and 2 in the second quarter and touchdown passes of 30 and 2 yards to Nick Bartholomew, to go along with a 49-yard fumble recovery for a score by Damien Tate to give Easton a 56-0 lead going into halftime.
While Easton’s offense has made a big jump over the last four games, the play of its defense may have been the most impressive aspect of the team as of late. The Eagles forced Riverdale (1-5, 0-2) into seven turnovers, three of which went back for touchdowns, and never allowed the Rebels to get anything going.
“We go hard at practice, and going against our offense only makes us better,” Fortin said. Everybody has been doubting us, but we know what we have as a team.”
The Eagles now move on to arguably their biggest game to date, a matchup against District 9-4A leader and No. 4 large school in the Super 10, McDonogh 35. The Roneagles defeated Belle Chasse 21-0 on Thursday night.
“We just have to stay focused. We know that’s going to be a tough game,” Starks said.