MAGNA After a sloppy first half that saw Cyprus take a 7-6 lead into the locker room, East bounced back to score 27 second-half points and beat the Pirates, 33-14, here Friday.
"We came out really flat early," said East head coach Aaron Whitehead. "We had a tough game last week and we were down at the half (this week). Coach (Sonny) Sudbury did an excellent job and Cyprus played a great ballgame."
East fell behind after punting away its opening possession. Cyprus took command at its own 26 and marched 74 yards in 14 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a Jake Jenkins one-yard quarterback keeper on fourth-and-goal from the 1 with 1:25 left in the first quarter.
The Leopards finally answered when they took possession at their own 20 with 3:26 to play.
Quarterback Eric Bohling hooked up with Parker Cracroft on passes of 31 and 19 yards to quickly move the ball into Cyprus territory. Six plays later, Brock Sine rushed up the middle for a three-yard touchdown. Coulsen Wiscomb missed the extra point wide-left and the score remained 7-6 at halftime.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Jenkins engineered an eight-play, 84-yard drive to extend the lead. The drive saw the Pirates go three-and-out, only to convert on a fake punt that went for 19 yards and a first down.
Jenkens, who finished 16-for-23 for 193 yards, one touchdown and one interception, capped the drive with a nine-yard scoring strike to Stranz Wolfgramm for a 14-6 advantage.
East pulled it to 14-12 when Bohling, who finished 10-of-17 for 264 yards and three touchdowns, connected with Billy Takai for a 75-yard touchdown pass.
The Leopards took a 19-14 lead when Bohling hit Tonga Fisilau for a 48-yard score with 26 seconds to play in the third.
Cyprus attempted a comeback, but Jenkins was picked off by Phil Henson, who returned the ball 20 yards to the Pirates' 20. The interception set up a 20-yard Takai touchdown run on the next play and East led 26-14.
The final score came on a 51-yard Leopards drive.
After recovering a Cyprus fumble, East took time off the clock with a nine-play drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Bohling to Jon Webb.
"Cyprus did a great job," Whitehead said. "They controlled the clock early and that really took us out of our rhythm. We did a good job and Eric Bohling played a terrific game."