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Eason, Gaskin help Aggies shake off slow start in rout of Mustangs

It was far from flawless, but Arbor View still managed a dominating performance Saturday morning.

Most importantly, the Aggies got the win.

Roderick Eason had 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Donnie Gaskin added 129 rushing yards and a score, and Arbor View shook off a sluggish start by scoring touchdowns on five consecutive possessions en route to a 55-6 victory at Shadow Ridge.

“We came out like we were treading in mud for a little while,” Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said. “Give credit to Shadow Ridge. They were ready at the start.”

The Mustangs (0-5, 0-4 Northwest League) jumped to a 3-0 lead on their opening possession with a 39-yard field goal by James Grigsby.

But the third-ranked Aggies (5-1, 4-1) answered when Christian Rodriguez broke away for 77 yards on the next play from scrimmage to set up Eason’s 3-yard touchdown plunge.

Shadow Ridge pulled within 7-6 on a 25-yard field goal by Grigsby with 6:27 left in the second quarter, but couldn’t get closer.

Arbor View scored four touchdowns in less than five minutes heading into the locker room, and added another on its first possession of the third quarter to take a 41-6 lead.

“They physically beat us up front,” Shadow Ridge coach Frank Tousa said. “They won the battle of the trenches. We played with them for a quarter and a half. But they took over the line of scrimmage and we had some turnovers.”

Gaskin, a junior, began Arbor View’s scoring run with a 23-yard touchdown.

Following a fumble recovery by junior Thomas Newton, junior quarterback Henry Hoffend scored on a 1-yard keeper.

Eason, who took all his carries in the first half, got loose for a 90-yard TD run.

After Eason grabbed an intereception two plays later, Steve Burns supplied a 55-yard touchdown run for the Aggies.

Junior Rob Milner then scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 2-yard run. Milner also had an interception.

The Aggies closed the scoring in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run by Marcus Lavergne following a fumble recovery by Darius Hogan-Garrison, and an 11-yard TD run by Milner.

Arbor View totaled 524 yards on the ground.

“It’s what we do,” Barnson said of the rushing game. “And it’s not our backs. It’s our line. The lineman are getting it done up front.”

The Aggies’ defense was also dominant, holding the Mustangs to 84 total yards.

But Barnson was not pleased with 110 yards in penalties or his team’s slow start.

“We had too many penalties and made a lot of mistakes, so we have a lot of work to do,” Barnson said. “We have a short week before facing Cheyenne. We can’t afford to lose. We want to host a first-round playoff game. We know we’re in for a dogfight next Thursday night.”

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