Eagles Close Out with Win

RWA’s John Coleman delivers the stiff-arm on his way down the field.

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn Eagles finished their season with another one in the W column as they defeated the Jefferson Davis Academy Raiders 47-30 Friday night.

Spirits on both sides of the line of scrimmage were wound to a fever pitch and there were several unsportsmanlike penalty calls against both teams. The yardage marked off on those penalties was both a help and a hindrance during the night.

It was Senior Night at Richard Winn, so Eagle seniors Brian Steed and Austin Knox were honored for their contributions to the team before they played this, their last game of high school football. Senior Eagle cheerleaders were also recognized in ceremonies before the game.

The first score of the night came early on the tail end of a drive. With 11:04 on the clock, Eagle quarterback Matt Taylor connected with John Coleman on a 57-yard pass play for the score. Nic Stillwell crossed the goal line for the 2-point conversion and the score was 8-0.

The Raiders slogged their way down the muddy field in a drive that started at their 49-yard line and ended at the RWA 5, where Raider quarterback Will Gee found Cameron Polston for the TD. The 2-point conversion was stopped and with 3:00 left in the first quarter, the Eagles held an 8-6 lead.

The Eagles answered that TD with one of their own on their next possession, with Taylor running in from the Eagle 46 for the score. Mitchell Gibbons was not able to complete the PAT and the score was 14-6 with 2:08 on the clock.

The quarter ended in the middle of a turnover that gave the Eagles the ball at the Raider 35. As the second quarter began, the Eagles quickly took advantage of this field position, ending the drive with Taylor calling his own number from the Raider 25 for the touchdown run. The PAT was again thwarted, but the Eagle lead was 20-6 with 11:30 left in the half.

The Eagles were able to take advantage of another Raider mistake when Coleman recovered a Raider fumble on their next possession at the Jefferson Davis 30, putting the Eagles within striking distance again. Knox did the honors this time, running the ball in from the Raider 42. Gibbons nailed the PAT and the Eagles went up 26-6 with 9:08 on the clock.

Coleman picked off a Gee pass on the next Raider series, giving the Eagles the ball at the Raider 40. Then came a series of penalty flags that seemed to set the Eagles back further with each step. After the laundry stopped flying, the Eagle drive stalled out at the Raider 34 when a RWA fumble was recovered by the Raiders.

The team from Blackville was able to get up steam for a scoring drive from the 49 that resulted in Collin Thomas getting across the goal from the RWA 1-yard line for the TD with 0:46.5 left in the half. The Raider 2-pointer was good and the Eagle lead was cut to 12, with a 26-14 score at the break.

The Eagles came out aggressive and with a touch of trickery at the beginning of the second half, with Wyatt Adams recovering the onside kick and giving RWA the ball at the Raider 40. The end of the drive came at 9:43 on the clock, on a Taylor quarterback keeper from the Raider 28. Gibbons kick was good and the Eagles began to lengthen their lead, 33-14.

The Raiders answered back with a score of their own, with Gee finding Ross Kinard in the end zone from the 21-yard line. Gee then made the 2-point conversion run and the score was 33-22 with 7:20 left in the third quarter,

The Eagles returned the ensuing kick to their 36, where Knox zigged and zagged all over the field, weaving a 55-yard TD run in the process. Gibbons booted the PAT through the uprights and the Eagles went up 40-22 with 6:52 on the clock.

Early in the final quarter of play, the Eagles took over on downs at the Raider 49. They took advantage of the good field position, driving to the Raider 44, where Taylor connected with Conrad Sharpe for a TD pass. The PAT was good and with 9:33 left in the game, the score was 47-22.

The last score for the Raiders would come at the 5:04 mark on a run from the Eagle 7-yard line by Curtis Boling. The 2-point conversion was good and the score was 47-30.

The Eagles finish the season with 2-5 region record, 5-6 overall, falling just shy of earning a berth on the SCISA 8-man playoff bracket.