Second Half Spark Lifts Eagles to 8-0

 

Conrad Sharpe (2) and the Eagle defense shut down Wardlaw in the second half. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

WINNSBORO – It may have rained Friday night in Winnsboro before the game, but even the wet field could not stop the Eagles of Richard Winn from recording their eighth straight victory by defeating the Patriots of Wardlaw Academy, 53-18.

The RWA fans were out in full force to help support their Eagles during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Eagles would not disappoint their fans on this night. The Eagles would get on the scoreboard early into the first quarter with a 63-yard touchdown run by junior running back John Coleman.

Defense came to the fore for much of the remainder of the first period, as both offenses struggled for yards. Richard Winn ended that trend late in the quarter with Coleman’s second TD run, this one a 31-yarder to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead.

Senior quarterback Matt Taylor kicked off the scoring in the second quarter with a 41-yard touchdown run to push the RWA lead to 20-0. The Patriot offense then began to find their groove. Wardlaw Academy scored on a 1-yard touchdown run late into the second quarter to cut their deficit to 20-6. The Patriots on the following kickoff surprised the Eagles with an onside kick, recovering the ball for the short field – but with a short clock, as well.

With 20 seconds left in the first half the Patriots scored on a 9-yard touchdown pass to cut the Eagles’ lead to 20-12 lead going into halftime.

Defense dominated the third quarter, as turnovers stunted both offenses. Late in the third, the Eagles came back to life as Taylor hit Coleman with a 25-yard touchdown pass. Junior Nic Stillwell hammered home the 2-point conversion to extend the Eagle lead to 28-12 going into the final frame.

The Eagles have earned a reputation this season of dominating opponents in the waning minutes of games, pouring it on when other teams begin sucking wind. This game proved no different as the Eagles erased all hope of a Patriots comeback in the fourth quarter.

“It feels great to be unbeaten, but we are not unbeaten without our great strength and conditioning regime,” RWA head coach Dan Dickerson said. “Our conditioning keeps us in ball games, which in return keeps us healthy as we continue to reach our preseason goals we made for ourselves.”

RWA junior Webb Yongue struck first for the Eagles with a 42-yard punt return for a touchdown in the early moments of the final quarter. The Eagle defense clamped down on the Patriot offense, which began to shut down as they could not get back into the rhythm that had helped them earlier in the game.

Taking the reins from Taylor, junior quarterback Gunnar Hensley extended the Eagle lead with a 32-yard touchdown run in the midway through of the fourth quarter. On the following possession for the Patriots, the Eagle defense once again stopped the Patriots momentum. That set up sophomore Mitchell Gibbons for a 29-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 46-12 lead.

Wardlaw Academy never stopped playing hard against the Eagles, despite their misfortunes. The Patriots’ efforts earned them a final score with 2:04 left in the game with a 61-yard touchdown run, but a failed 2-point attempt left the Eagle lead at 46-18.

On the ensuing kickoff, Yongue showed his speed once again, returning it 72 yards for an Eagle touchdown for the 53-18 final.

“We are in the meat of our schedule and we just defeated a great opponent,” Dickerson said. “Wardlaw Academy has some great players and we are thankful to have defeated them because we knew they would play us hard.”

Richard Winn Academy travels to Greenwood Friday to face Greenwood Christian.

 

WA: 0-12-0-6 – 18

RW: 13-7-8-25 – 53

 

Scoring

First Quarter

RW – John Coleman 63 run (PAT failed). 11:48.

RW – J. Coleman 31 run (Mitchell Gibbons kick). 0:32.

Second Quarter

RW – Matt Taylor 41 run (M. Gibbons kick). 7:30.

WA – Walter White 1 run (PAT failed). 2:58.

WA – Jake Johnson 9 pass from Phillip Sims (PAT failed). 0:20.

Third Quarter

RW – J. Coleman 25 pass from M. Taylor (Nic Stillwell run). 1:44.

Fourth Quarter

RW – Webb Yongue 42 punt return (M. Taylor 3 pass from M. Gibbons). 11:44.

RW – Gunnar Hensley 32 run (M. Gibbons kick). 8:38.

RW – M. Gibbons 29 FG. 5:04.

WA – W. White 61 run (PAT failed). 2:04.

RW – W. Yongue 73 kick return (M. Gibbons kick). 1:57.

 

Team Stats

                                                                WA                                         RW

First Downs                                        13                                           14

Rushes/Yards                                    57-231                                   36-312

Passing Yards                                     44                                           55

C-A-INT                                               4-11-1                                   7-12-0

Fumbles/Lost                                    1-1                                          2-2

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: RW – John Coleman 5-110, Matt Taylor 12-155, Webb Yongue 8-78, Gunnar Hensley 3-27, Bryant Carvalho 1-1.

RECEIVING: RW – John Coleman 1-25, Gunnar Hensley 1-16, Webb Yongue 1-15, Blake Pauley 1-1.

PASSING: RW – Matt Taylor 7-12, 57 yards, TD.

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