Robert C. Byrd scored on its first seven possessions here Friday night and utilized a balanced attack led by the running of tailback Zach Losh and the passing of quarterback Cody Gilmore to cruise to a 51-21 victory over visiting North Marion.

The Flying Eagles improved to 2-0 on the season with the win while the Huskies fell to 0-3.

RCB’s first team dominated the line of scrimmage and as a result outgained the Huskies, 239-33, in the first 24 minutes as it rolled to a 24-0 lead at the break.

“We couldn’t establish ball control against them, and in order for us to win, we need to win the line of scrimmage,” said North coach Gerry White.

Losh scored touchdowns on RCB’s first two drives and tallied 140 of his 215 rushing yards in the first half. He carried only once in the second half, scoring on a 75-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.

Gilmore, the Flying Eagles’ quarterback, was efficient throughout, completing 10 of his 14 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns. RCB didn’t suffer any turnovers in the game and was not forced to punt. Penalties, however, were an Achilles’ Heel for the Flying Eagles, who were flagged 16 times in the contest for 96 yards.

North Marion was able to score on three straight drives in the second half against Byrd’s reserves and enjoyed a couple of big plays by senior wideout Jason Jones. Jones scored on a 71-yard run on a reverse late in the third quarter and later added a 48-yard reception to set up a score on the next possession.

“Jones is our fastest player and we were able to get him to the edge on a couple of plays,” said White, who was encouraged by his team’s play in the second half and remains optimistic for the remainder of the season. “We’re better, and hopefully we can show that in the coming weeks.”

The Huskies were led again on the ground by Eric Hinerman, who rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries and scored one touchdown.

Logan Neptune scored on an eight-yard pass from Josh Harvey midway through the fourth quarter. Harvey had his best game passing on the season, recording season highs in completions (nine), and yards (109). Backup Quint Cochran recorded three completions in five attempts for 44 yards in his first varsity action.

North suffered a big loss right from the get-go when two-way starter Brandon Riggs suffered a knee injury returning the opening kickoff. He was sidelined for the remainder of the contest and left the field on crutches.

White felt his tailback’s injury affected his team’s focus early.

“We do not have a great deal of depth and Riggs’ injury threw us off balance in the first half,” he said.

RCB also lost a significant player to injury as senior standout Jordan Griffin, who led the state in receiving yards last season, was also lost early in the game, reportedly to a groin injury.

North Marion returns home next Friday to take on Buckhannon-Upshur, while RCB is on the road against Philip Barbour.

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