Red Hot and Blue: Eagles Take Title


John Coleman (4) walks the sideline tight rope against Carolina Academy in Friday’s SCISA 8-man state championship game. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson).

Richard Winn – 50, Carolina Academy-14

SUMTER – A year ago, RWA senior quarterback Matt Taylor put a reminder in his phone noting the date of the 2014 SCISA 8-Man State Championship Game.

“I set that reminder for motivation,” Taylor said, “because I knew we had a chance to win it all after the end of last season.”

The Eagles made the reminder a reality Friday as they dominated Carolina Academy to capture the state title with a 50-14 victory.

“I am so happy for our program and for these great young men for their hard work this season,” head coach Dan Dickerson said as he hoisted the championship trophy after the game. “It began last year as we ended our season with a three-game win streak and we knew then we would have a special 2014 season.”

Taylor credited his teammates for their success this year.

“This is one of the best feelings in the world,” Taylor said after the game, “and I could not have better teammates in the state right now.”

The Eagles started the game with a strong running attack. Junior John Coleman scored first for the Eagles with a 66-yard touchdown run. Taylor ran in the 2-point conversion for an early 8-0 lead in the first quarter.

Both the Eagles and Bobcats defenses stood firm the remainder of the quarter as neither offense could gain any solid momentum. The Eagles started the second quarter on fire as Taylor connected with Coleman on a 68-yard touchdown pass to push the Eagle lead to 15-0. Carolina Academy responded on the following possession striking fast with a 74-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Zac Coward, cutting the Eagle lead to 15-6 following the Bobcats’ failed 2-point conversion.

The Eagles responded immediately with an 82-yard kickoff return by junior Gunnar Hensley to extend the Eagle lead to 21-6. The Eagle defense continued their stout effort throughout the second quarter shutting down the offensive game plan for the Bobcats.

Junior Webb Yongue increased the Eagle lead late in the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown run increasing the Eagle dominance to 28-6. Carolina Academy continued their effort trying to match the Eagle output on offense but the Eagle defense continued to complicate things for the Bobcat offense.

Carolina Academy punted to Richard Winn with under a minute left in the half, which gave the Eagles the opportunity to score once more before the break. Sophomore Mitchell Gibbons converted on a 17-yard field goal giving the Eagles a 31-6 halftime lead.

The third quarter did not start off well for the Bobcats of Carolina Academy as the Eagle defense continued to keep the Bobcat offense in neutral. The Eagle ground game kicked into high gear on their opening possession of the second half. Coleman increased the Eagle lead with a 44-yard touchdown run giving the Eagles a 38-6 advantage.

The Eagle defense continued striking gold on defense forcing a fumble on the Bobcats next possession, which was recovered by junior B Walters giving the Eagles great field position yet again.

Coleman added to his productive night with a 7-yard touchdown run giving the Eagles a commanding 44-6 lead. Despite the Bobcats shortcomings throughout the game they did not quit their fight in the game. The Bobcats went into the fourth quarter gaining their first positive possession since early in the first half. Coward connected with junior Donnie Matthews on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Coward ran in the 2-point conversion cutting the Eagle lead to 44-16.

The Eagles began their celebration once junior Gunnar Hensley sealed the victory with a 25-yard touchdown run giving the Eagles a 50-14 lead late into the fourth quarter, sealing their fates as the 2014 State Champions of SCISA 8-man football.

Dickerson gave a lot of credit to his family and close friends for his success as a coach.

“It’s always great having good people around to support you and watch your success come full circle and I am thankful for their love and support,” Dickerson said. “This championship is for them as well.”

Taylor added that the Eagles may have the potential to build a dynasty.

“We the seniors have left a lot of momentum for our family of teammates here for the future,” Taylor said, “and we feel they can continue this under the great guidance under coach Dickerson.”

Richard Winn finishes this remarkable season 14-1.


CA: 0-6-0-8 – 14

RW: 8-23-13-6 – 50



First Quarter

RW – John Coleman 66 run (Matt Taylor run). 9:34.

Second Quarter

RW – J. Coleman 68 pass from M. Taylor (Mitchell Gibbons kick). 11:48.

CA – Zac Coward 74 run (run failed). 10:25.

RW – Gunnar Hensley 82 kickoff return (kick failed). 10:13.

RW – Webb Yongue 9 run (M. Gibbons kick).

RW – M. Gibbons 17 FG. 0:05.

Third Quarter

RW – J. Coleman 44 run (M. Gibbons kick). 8:51.

RW – J. Coleman 7 run (pass failed). 7:19.

Fourth Quarter

CA – Donnie Matthews 20 pass from Z. Coward (Z. Coward 3 run). 7:04.

RW – G. Hensley 25 run (kick failed). 1:14.


Team Stats

                                                                CA                                          RW

First Downs                                        14                                           10

Rushes/Yards                                    41-259                                   32-304

Passing Yards                                     34                                           101

C-A-I                                                      2-11-1                                   3-6-0

Fumbles/Lost                                    2-2                                          1-1


Individual Stats

RUSHING: RW – John Coleman 4-147, Matt Taylor 12-58, Webb Yongue 11-62, Gunnar Hensley 5-37.

RECEIVING: RW – Webb Yongue 2-33, John Coleman 1-68.

PASSING: RW – Matt Taylor 3-6, 101 yards, TD.

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