After the game, however, Indians coach Kyle Hockman wanted to talk defense.
“I’m real proud of the way our offense played Friday), but defense is what’s going to carry us to a successful season,” Hockman said after McEachern’s opener to Region 4AAAAAA play. “We have nine returning starters on defense, and that’s a strong part of our team. We forced turnovers (Friday), and that was big.”
McEachern forced five Pebblebrook turnovers and turned a close game into a second-quarter blowout.
After only leading 6-0 after the first quarter thanks to a swarming Pebblebrook defense, the Indians scored 35 unanswered points to take a 41-0 halftime lead and put the game away.
McEachern scored those points in a hurry, with four touchdowns in a span of 5 minutes. Three Pebblebrook fumbles and an interception turned a close game into a blowout.
Two offensive players paved the way for the Indians in the first half. Quarterback Ty Clemons rushed 11 times for 67 yards and went 9-of-13 passing for 87 yards. Taj Griffin carried the ball 13 times for 119 yards on the ground.
Both players watched the second half from the sideline as McEachern built its insurmountable lead.
Pebblebrook coach Tommy Macon saw his primary offensive threat on the night go down early in the third quarter. Quarterback Dezmon Huntley spent time on the turf and was finally helped off the field after a scuffle and an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on an incomplete pass.
Huntley seemed to be favoring his wrist, but Macon said that wasn’t the case after the game.
“There are no indications that Dez broke his wrist,” Macon said. “Right now, it just looks like he has some deep bruising, but we won’t know for sure until later. We just couldn’t muster anything offensively (Friday), and the turnovers killed us.
“I think our boys were flustered and a little intimidated when McEachern started scoring all those points.”
A third-quarter touchdown and another at the start of the fourth quarter gave McEachern a 53-0 lead. Pebblebrook (2-1, 0-1) finally got on the scoreboard with less than a minute remaining on a 29-yard pass from third-string quarterback Perry Seldon to Justin Simms, followed by Eddie Castenada’s extra point.