Richard Winn Suffers Opening Night Heartbreaker

Reid Johnson (20) fights for extra yardage as Mason Gibbons (7) comes in for the block.Junior Austin Knox breaks free for first down yardage for the Eagles.

Opening night for the Richard Winn varsity football team turned out to be heartbreaker as the visiting Patrick Henry Patriots literally stole the victory as the final buzzer sounded. Leading the game 15-12, the Eagles were just about four seconds away from capturing their first eight-man victory when the Patriots executed their final play of the game that resulted in the game winning touchdown. The scoreboard lit up to reflect the new and final score of 18-15 with the Eagles disappointedly falling into the loss column.

The Patriots, traveling all the way from Estill, received the opening kickoff and mounted a good opening charge down field into the Eagle territory, but the Eagle defense hung tough and kept them out of the end zone. When the teams exchanged possession, it was the Eagles who then steadily and patiently worked their way down field and into the end zone for the first score of the game. Senior running back Sidney Edenfield rushed the final four yards across the goal line for the Eagles with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter. The two point conversion failed and RWA led 6-0.

After two kickoff penalties, the Patriots ended up with good field position and advanced deep into RWA territory just as the first quarter buzzer sounded. Patriot quarterback Cody Youmans opened up the second quarter with a touchdown pass completion to tight end Drayton Carson. However, the Eagle defense halted the two point conversion run. The scoreboard showed a tie game, 6-6, with 11:23 remaining in the first half of play.

Edenfield received the Patriot kickoff and returned the ball to mid field as the Eagles began their second campaign. Just over four minutes and several plays later, it was Edenfield again that closed the scoring drive, this time with a rush from five yards out to put the Eagles on top, 12-6, with 7:17 left in the half. The conversion play was unsuccessful.

Following the kickoff, the Patriots answered back with their own scoring drive that was capped off when Youmans opted to run the ball and power his way across the goal line. The conversion failed, and the scoreboard reflected another tie game, 12-12, with 1:48 left in the first half.

Having little time remaining, the Eagles hastily worked to move the ball down field after freshman John Coleman returned the kickoff. The Eagles managed to get off several plays and move the chains, but the final play of the half proved costly for them as Edenfield suffered a shoulder injury and was not able to return to play for the second half of action.

Both teams exchanged the ball numerous times during the second half of action with neither team scoring again until late in the final period. With 2:07 left in the game, junior Mason Gibbons connected on a 37-yard field goal to break the tie and put the Eagles back on top 15-12.

Leading the Patriot charge were Youmans and full back Paul Daniel DeLoach who wasted no time in advancing the ball down to the goal line. Much to the home team and Eagle fans’ disappointment, the Patriots stole the victory on the final play of the game. DeLoach battled his way into the end zone as time expired and locked up the victory for the visiting Patriots.

Edenfield led the Eagle offense with 65 rushing yards and two TDs while only playing half a game. Junior Austin Knox was the Eagles’ second leading rusher with 50 yards. Quarterback Corey Davis made five passing attempts with two completions for a total of 35 yards to senior receiver Reid Johnson.

The Eagles seek to redeem themselves at Ruff Field again this Friday, as they face the Cathedral Academy Generals from North Charleston. Opening kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.