A stout defense and a consistent rushing attack can win you some football games.

East coach Marques Hayes knows that, and Friday night at Ellet, he witnessed his Dragons display both in a 31-0 victory over Firestone.

Senior Devanier Floyd rushed for four touchdowns to lead East in a City Series game that lacked pace with multiple penalties and referee discussions.

East (5-1, 2-0) limited Firestone (2-4, 1-1) to minus 6 rushing yards on 23 carries and to 6-of-20 passing for 35 passing yards.

“We had a super intense practice on Wednesday where guys were getting after it,” Hayes said. “I had to stop practice for a little bit because I said ‘Geez, we have to save some of this for the game.’ But, I remember that is how the run got started last year when we won some tough games.”

East capitalized on Firestone mistakes to score two touchdowns in the first quarter. Senior Tanner Kelly gave the Dragons good field position when he recovered a fumble at 8:54 and secured an interception at 6:54 in Falcons territory.

Floyd ended both of those short drives with touchdown runs, scoring on a 6-yard run at 7:18 and from 1 yard at 6:49 in the first quarter.

“We prepare for every game like it is a playoff game,” Kelly said. “We practice hard every day.”

The Dragons took a 24-0 halftime lead after Floyd scored two more touchdowns. He scored from 12 yards out with 9:38 to go and 15 yards out with 34 seconds to go in the second quarter.

“As a team, we played pretty dominant,” said Floyd, a University of Akron recruit. “We take every team as a playoff team, so when you look at a team as a playoff team, it makes you hungrier to beat them. I think that is what these boys came out and did.”

Senior Daishawn Brimage, a University of Akron recruit, contributed an 8-yard touchdown run and senior Kendrick Buckley converted the extra point kick to give East a 31-0 lead with 2:57 to go in the third quarter.

Firestone senior Kevon Louis snagged an interception in the closing moments of a scoreless fourth quarter.

“I knew Firestone was going to come out here and come for a win,” Hayes said. “They were not thinking about what our record was just like we were not thinking about what their record was. When you looked at them on film, you knew we would face a good team. They have some tremendous athletes that we knew we had to match up with.”

Hayes likes his team’s “physical presence” throughout the game. Buckley joined Robert White, Armani Farrey, Derell Glover, DeeArius Reese and Aaron Johnson along the Dragons’ offensive line.

“I know our rush defensively got after it,” Hayes said. “Tanner Kelly, DeeArius Reese, Aaron Johnson and Trey Kelly on the front line handled their business, which gave our guys less time to cover [the Firestone receivers].”

Floyd, Brimage, Claude Williams, Kyre Williams and Ryan Collins combined to rush for 211 yards on 32 carries for East.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.