Eagles Crush Crusaders

RWA quarterback Gunnar Hensley darts through a seam in the Laurens Academy defense. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

RWA quarterback Gunnar Hensley darts through a seam in the Laurens Academy defense. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

WINNSBORO – Not even an extra two days of preparation, due to a lightning delay, could help the Crusaders of Laurens Academy on Monday as the Richard Winn Eagles (3-0, 1-0) cruised to a 63-12 victory.

Laurens jumped out to an early 6-0 lead when they converted a third down play at midfield. Facing a third down with 8 yards to go, Crusader quarterback Ryan Holmes dropped back and lofted a pass that was caught over the shoulder by Nate Martin for a 48-yard score. Holmes was five of five passing on the drive.

The lead, however, would be short lived for Laurens when Richard Winn recovered an onside kick and returned it Laurens 38-yard line. It took just one play for the Eagles to get on the board. John Coleman scampered 38 yards down the right sideline on a toss play. Mitchell Gibbons made good on the extra point and Richard Winn led 7-6 with just 5 minutes gone by in the first quarter.

With a chance to respond on the ensuing drive, Holmes threw three straight incompletions after being perfect on the previous drive.

After the game Richard Winn’s head coach Dan Dickerson talked about what changed after the first drive and the quick start for Laurens.

“Sometimes we take a little bit of time to just wake up,” he said. “After that we locked it down and changed our coverage by going to more of a press coverage instead of playing a zone. That helped us probably more than anything.”

After a short 14-yard punt by Laurens, the Eagles’ offense took over at the Crusader 35-yard line. Gunnar Hensley sliced through the Laurens defense for 32 yards on a quarterback scramble that set up the Eagles with a first-and-goal situation. Two plays later Hensley punched it in with an 8-yard keeper up the middle.

After another three-and-out and a short punt, the Eagles began their third drive at the Laurens 34-yard line. On a first-and-10 play, Webb Yongue caught a perfectly placed pass by Hensley over the middle and bolted 34 yards to the end zone to give the Eagles a 21-6 lead halfway through the first quarter.

“Gunnar is a smart kid and he’s a competitor,” Dickerson praised his quarterback after the game. “He is in charge and everybody knows it. He’s been able to get the job done and we’re real pleased with his development as our quarterback this year.”

Hensley finished a perfect three-for-three through the air for 92 yards and three scores, including 130 rushing yards and three TD’s on the ground.

On Laurens’ ensuing drive, Noah Stribling coughed up the football on a third down play as he was fighting for extra yards. Yongue recovered the loose ball and set up the Eagles at the Laurens’ 33-yard line. Hensley capped off the four-play drive with an elusive 21-yard run up the right hash mark for the score.

After a mishandled snap on the extra point play, Gibbons was able to slip out of the Crusaders’ grasp and find an open Bryant Carvalho in the end zone for 2 points. Leading 29-6 the Eagles appeared to be running with a turbo boost that Laurens didn’t have and could not match.

“We’re going to be in better shape than most teams we play,” Dickerson said after the game. “I told our guys at halftime that we’re not that much more athletic than those guys, but we’ve made a commitment to be in better shape and that will pay dividends in every game we’ll play.”

For the second consecutive week, Richard Winn would go on to light up the scoreboard for 42 points in the first quarter. The Eagles’ high scoring offense invoked a running clock in the second quarter that would last through the entire second half.

During a postgame interview, Dickerson told The Voice that getting that first region win out of the way was tremendous.

“We were fortunate to have two non-region games to start with, but a couple of teams in our region have had some very tough ball games and now they’re behind the eight-ball with a loss,” Dickerson said. “We just want to keep winning.”

Next up, the Eagles will play at Newberry Academy Friday with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. Newberry Academy is 1-1 and coming off a 66-36 lost to King Academy last week.

Going into Week 4, the Eagles sit at the top of SCISA 8-man Region II while averaging 59 points per game and have scored more points (177) than any other team in all of 8-man football in the state.


LA: 6-0-0-6 – 12

RW: 42-14-7-0 – 63


First Quarter

LA – Martin 48 pass from Holmes (Holmes rush fail). 10:11

RW – Coleman 38 run (Gibbons kick). 10:01

RW – Hensley 8 run (Gibbons kick). 8:05

RW – Yongue 34 pass from Hensley (Gibbons kick). 7:12

RW – Hensley 21 run (B. Carvalho pass from Gibbons). 4:45

RW – Coleman 25 pass from Hensley (Gibbons kick fail). 2:30

RW – B. Carvalho 33 pass from Hensley (Yongue kick). :07

Second Quarter

RW – Hensley 40 run (Gibbons kick). 8:43

RW – P. Gilbert 33 run (Gibbons kick). 5:50

Third Quarter

RW – W. Carvalho 6 run (Gibbons kick). 2:13

Fourth Quarter

LA – Urwick 35 pass from Holmes (Holmes pass fail). 1:15


Team Stats

LA                           RW

First Downs                        3                              6

Rushes/Yards                    13-18                     16-255

Passing Yards                     203                         92

C-A-INT                                18-26-0                 3-3-0

Fumbles/Lost                    1-1                          0-0

Penalties/Yards              1-5                          2-15

Third downs                       2-12                       1-1

Fourth downs                    3-3                          0-0


Individual Stats

RUSHING: RW – Gunnar Hensley 7-130, Peyton Gilbert 4-56, John Coleman 2-39, Will Carvalho 3-30. LA – Ryan Holmes 3-24, Josh Urwick 4-(-5), Noah Stribling 6-(-1).

RECEIVING: RW – Webb Yongue 1-34, John Coleman 1-25, Bryant Carvalho 1-33. LA – Josh Urwick 8-66, Nate Martin 4-91, Will Tindall 4-41, Noah Stribling 2-2, Dawson Foster 1-(-5).

PASSING: RW – Gunnar Hensley 3-3, 92 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT. LA – Ryan Holmes 18-26, 203 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT.

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