Eagles Drop Season Finale, Prep for Playoffs

 

Matt Taylor (6) is taken down in RWA territory Friday night. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

EHRHARDT – The Richard Winn Academy Eagles’ spotless regular season record got its first blemish Friday night as the Eagles fell 46-34 to the Confederates at Andrew Jackson Academy.

The Confederates took a 22-12 lead into the half, stretching their lead to 38-20 by the end of the third. A pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns passes from Matt Taylor to Webb Yongue closed the gap, but Andrew Jackson was able to hold on for the win.

“They’ve got a good football team,” RWA head coach Dan Dickerson said. “Their style of play is very different from our own. They grind it out.”

The Confederates did indeed grind it out, chewing up 353 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Their only completion through the air was a 5-yard touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in the first half. The Andrew Jackson defense, meanwhile, held the Eagles to just 154 yards of rushing; and while Taylor threw for 209 yards and four touchdowns, it was not enough to lift the Eagles to victory.

“We had a little bit of an off night,” Dickerson said. “We didn’t throw the ball as well, and we had a few mental break-downs. I knew we were due for a game like that, as much as we throw the ball.”

For the Eagles, it was the Taylor and Young Show all night, with the two hooking up on a 50-yard scoring pass to give the Eagles an early 6-0 lead. The 2-point attempt was pushed back, and with 10:57 to go in the first quarter, the Eagles were out front.

Andrew Jackson got on the board midway through the first on a 26-yard touchdown run. The 2-point run found the end zone and the Confederates held an 8-6 edge.

A little more than 90 seconds later, Taylor and Young struck again, this time on a 32-yard scoring pass. Taylor’s 2-point pass attempt wasn’t as true, but the Eagles held a narrow 12-8 lead with 5:13 left in the first.

Andrew Jackson devoured most of the remaining time in the quarter mowing down the yardage. The drive culminated in a 2-yard TD run with 52 second left in the opening frame. The 2-point run try was no good, but the Confederates held a 14-12 lead. They added to their lead with just 10 seconds to go before the break on a 5-yard TD pass. The 2-point attempt was into the paint for a 22-12 halftime lead.

The Confederates dominated much of the third quarter, scoring on runs of 6 and 3 yards to up the ante to 38-12. With just seconds left in the period, Yongue broke a 33-yard scoring scamper and John Coleman tacked on the 2-point run to cut the lead to 38-20.

Yongue saw the end zone twice more before they shut out the lights, one on a 20-yard pass from Taylor at the 8:26 mark in the fourth, and the last a 51-yard pass from Taylor with 2:49 to play.

The loss may put a brief damper on what had been a remarkable 13-game win streak (dating back to 2013), but with a Region II title wrapped up and the SCISA 8-man playoffs on the horizon, the Eagles clearly have more football to play.

“If we had to lose one, that’s the one to lose,” Dickerson said. “We’re still the number 1 seed going into the playoffs, and I think this game will help us prepare.”

The Eagles (7-1/10-1) host the Cavaliers of St. John’s Christian (5-3/5-5) in round one of the SCISA 8-man playoffs Friday at 7 p.m.

The Cavaliers are averaging 39.6 points per game, while their defense is giving up 35.5 points per game. Their offense shows opponents a variety of looks, with the double-tight I and the spread. Primarily a running team, the Cavs have a quarterback who is just as likely to pitch the ball 10-15 yards into the keeper as he is to pitch it while still in the backfield.

“They mix it up,” Dickerson said. “It forces you to play responsibility football, and that takes away some of your aggressiveness. You can’t fly around as much as you’d like.”

 

RW: 12-0-8-14 – 34

AJ: 14-8-16-8 – 46

 

Scoring

First Quarter

RW – Webb Yongue 50 pass from Matt Taylor (run failed). 10:57.

AJ – A. Holland 26 run (Wilson run). 6:49.

RW – W. Yongue 32 pass from M. Taylor (pass failed). 5:13.

AJ – Wilson 2 run (run failed). 0:52.

Second Quarter

AJ – Franks 5 pass from Wilson (Holland run). 0:10.

Third Quarter

AJ – Holland 6 run (Wilson run). 8:40

AJ – Franks 3 run (Holland run). 0:44

RW – W. Yongue 33 run (John Coleman run). 0:07.

Fourth Quarter

RW – W. Yongue 20 pass from M. Taylor (Hunter Gibbons 3 pass from M. Taylor). 8:26.

AJ – Holland 2 run (Wilson run). 3:02.

RW – W. Yongue 51 pass from M. Taylor (run failed).

 

Team Stats

                                                                RW                                         AJ

First Downs                                        13                                           27

Rushes/Yards                                    23-154                                   72-353

Passing Yards                                     209                                         5

C-A-I                                                    9-16-1                                   1-3-0

Fumbles/Lost                                    1-1                                          3-1

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: RW – John Coleman 1-5, Matt Taylor 16-107, Webb Yongue 5-29, Gunnar Hensley 1-13.

RECEIVING: RW – Gunnar Hensley 1-25, Blake Pauley 1-0, Webb Yongue 5-155, Conrad Sharpe 1-8, John Coleman 1-41.

PASSING: RW – Matt Taylor 9-16, 209 yards, 4 TD, INT.

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