Eagles Pull Out Late Win Over Hawks

Richard Winn’s John Sandifer makes a key stop on Greenwood Christian.

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn Eagles gave the RWA faithful a tense game Friday night with a close 36-34 win at home over the Greenwood Christian Hawks.

Greenwood took an early lead on their first possession of the game with a six-play, 61-yard scoring drive that began at their own 39-yard line. The drive was completed with an 18-yard touchdown run by Hawk quarterback Noah Hinzman with 9:55 left in the quarter.  The PAT failed and the Hawks were on the board 6-0.

That first touchdown went unanswered as the Eagles started their drive on their own 42-yard line but were not able to make anything happen. Eagle Austin Knox got a good foot into the ball and sent the punt deep into Hawk territory to the 3-yard line.

Being practically in the basement didn’t slow the Greenwood Christian team down any, as the quickly put together a scoring drive, led by Hinzman, that drove the ball all the way down to the RWA 3-yard line, where he made the short run for the score with 3:45 on the clock. Eagles Conrad Sharpe and Nic Stilwell stopped the 2-point conversion attempt and the score was 12-0.

After a disappointing drive that went nowhere, the Eagles got a chance to put some points on the board in the middle of the next Hawk drive when a Hinzman pass was intercepted by John Coleman at the Richard Winn 30-yard line. RWA quarterback Matt Taylor’s two pass attempts of the series were incomplete, so the Eagles switched to the ground game. The first quarter ran out in the middle of the drive, and the score was 12-0 with nothing on the Eagle’s side. As the second quarter opened, the Eagles were determined to change that. Ground gained by Taylor and Knox and a long 21-yard run by Coleman contributed to the drive, as the Eagles fought their way to the Greenwood 20, where Taylor ran in for the score. The PAT by Mitchell Gibbons was good and with 11:24 left in the half, the Eagles were on the board 12-7.

The Hawks promptly answered back on their next possession, taking the ball at their own 48 and setting up Bryson Boggs’ 47-yard touchdown run with 10:38 left on the clock. The Eagles halted the 2-point conversion and the score was 18-7.

The Eagles’ next drive carried them to their own 43 and the ball was punted away. The Hawks set down at their own 32, but a roughing the kicker penalty against the Hawks revived the Eagles and gave them a first-and-10 situation at the Greenwood 41. Taylor found receiver Webb Yongue for his first pass completion of the night and a score with 8:10 left in the half. Knox added the 2-point conversion, cutting the Greenwood lead to three points, 18-15, where it stayed for the remainder of the half.

The Eagles came on strong in the opening drive of the second half spotting the ball at their own 35 after a penalty against the Hawks. Knox provided the steam to a scoring drive that set up his own touchdown from the Greenwood 16 with 9:38 on the clock. Mitchell Gibbons added the PAT and the Eagles finally had command of the scoreboard, 22-18.

Greenwood took the ensuing kick and started down the field, helped by a personal foul call against the Eagles that set the ball at the RWA 13, but they fumbled the ball and Richard Winn recovered. Taylor and Knox took turns eating up ground in a scoring drive that was capped off by a pass from Taylor to Mitchell Gibbons for 29 yards and the TD with 4:29 left in the third quarter. The PAT was good and the score was 29-18, Eagles.

The Eagles seemed a little anxious as they drew back-to-back encroachment calls on the next Greenwood Christian series. This helped the Hawks get into position for a Caleb Hinzman TD run from the Eagle 10 with 3:35 in the quarter. Hinzman then added the 2-point conversion and the Eagle lead was cut to three points at 29-26.

The first score in the fourth quarter came when Greenwood Christian recovered a Richard Winn fumble at the Eagle 25, which Hinzman promptly took advantage of. He carried to the 10, and Caleb Hinzman ran it in from there for the TD with 8:40 on the clock. But the touchdown was nullified by a penalty called on the Hawks, so Hinzman and his Hawks started at the Eagle 15, but were still able to make the score from the RWA 1-yard line with 6:30 on the clock. A bootleg play gave the Hawks the 2-point conversion and the score was 34-29 with the Eagles on the bottom.

The next Eagle possession was lost on another fumble that was recovered by Greenwood Christian, but the Hawks lost that one on downs. The Eagles started at their own 20-yard line and put together a scoring drive that ended when Taylor ran in for the score on a 54-yard run with 49.6 seconds to play in the game. Mitchell Gibbons nailed the PAT and the score shifted in favor of the Eagles, 36-34.

Next week, the Eagles are on the road against the W.W. King Academy Knights.