Eagles Come up Short Against Cathedral Academy

Zelick Levy sweeps around the left side of the line.Reid Johnson hauls in an 11-yard pass from Austin Knox.

On paper it appeared that the Cathedral Generals of North Charleston and the Richard Winn Eagles matched up pretty evenly. However, after four quarters of action on the playing field, it was the Generals who ultimately captured the victory and forced the Eagles, playing in front of their home crowd, to surrender, 26-14.

Receiving the opening kickoff, the Generals launched the first offensive attack, but were forced to punt after picking up only one first down. Then the Eagle team, in turn, did likewise and had to punt it away. However, misfortune struck the Eagle team when a Cathedral player was able to get past the Eagle defense to block Mason Gibbons’ punt. General Drew Murray snatched up the blocked punt and raced to the end zone to put the first points on the board with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter. The PAT conversion run by running back Lloyd Hayes was stopped short of the goal line and the Generals settled for the early 6-0 lead.

Once the Eagles took over after the kickoff, they wasted little time in using both ground and air attacks to advance the ball into General territory. It took just seven plays during the Eagles’ second possession for quarterback Corey Davis to connect to receiver Reid Johnson for a 51-yard TD. The duo worked together again to make good on a 2-point pass completion to put the Eagles in the lead 8-6 with 4:03 remaining in the first quarter, a lead they would hold for the rest of the half.

More misfortune plagued the home team on the opening kickoff of the second half when the catch was fumbled by the Eagles and recovered by the Generals deep inside RWA territory on the 15-yard line. Taking advantage of the field position, the Generals ran six plays to manufacture their second TD. Cathedral quarterback Christian Rogers called running back Dillon Jones’ number to push the ball across the goal line from one yard out. The 2-point conversion run was successful as well, and the Generals were in charge of the scoreboard once more, 14-8, with 9:26 remaining in the third period.

The General kickoff went into the end zone and set up the Eagles on their own 20-yard line to start their next offensive series. After running only one play, the “Friday Night Lights” went “lights out.” The lights on the north end of the field went black and left that half of the field unplayable for the next 15 or so minutes. Both teams headed to their sidelines to take an extra breather until the lighting problem was resolved.

Once action resumed, the Eagles were unable to make significant forward progress and were flagged for several penalties, forcing them to punt. The Generals had no luck on their next possession either and turned the ball back over on downs. The third quarter of play ended with the Generals still in the lead, 14-8.

Early in the fourth quarter the Generals marched into the end zone for the third time. Hayes scored from four yards out with 10:12 remaining in the game. The PAT was no good. Cathedral led 20-8.

Again the Eagles were not able to muster any offensive progress during their next series and punted it away. Rogers received the punt and raced 57 yards into the end zone for another Cathedral TD. The PAT failed and Cathedral led 26-8 with 6:49 left in the game.

The Eagles started their next charge on their own 31-yard line following a 19-yard kickoff return by John Coleman. Eleven plays later, after two consecutive pass completions to Johnson, Davis called his own number from one yard out. The 2-point conversion play was unsuccessful, and with less than two minutes left in the game, the Eagles had cut the lead to26-14.

But the ensuing onside kick attempt by the Eagles failed and the Generals were able to run out the clock and preserve the victory.

Richard Winn’s Austin Knox had 22 rushes for 97 yards and passed for 28 yards. Davis rushed for 21 yards on eight attempts and scored one TD. He completed three of six passing attempts for 65 yards, one TD, and one 2-point conversion. Johnson had four receptions for 93 yards, a TD and a 2-point conversion reception.

The Eagles, still seeking a victory, make their first road trip of the season on Friday, Aug. 31, when they travel to Greenwood to take on Greenwood Christian. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.