Patriots Thump RWA

Mitchell Gibbons (7) delivers the stiff-arm on his way to the end zone. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

Mitchell Gibbons (7) delivers the stiff-arm on his way to the end zone. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

WINNSBORO (Aug. 29, 2016) – In their long awaited return to Ruff Field Friday, the Richard Winn Eagles failed to contain the Wardlaw Academy Patriots and dropped the game 44-13.

The first quarter was seemingly all that went right for the Eagles. They scored on the very first drive of the game, with a 30-yard rushing touchdown by starting quarterback Mitchell Gibbons.

Gibbons received a majority of the snaps for the Eagles, but eighth-grade backup quarterback Zack Taylor also received some playing time in his varsity debut.

“We’re still trying to figure out who gives us the best chance, and we’re going to play the guy who gives us the best chance. The good thing about it is with Zack in there we can play Mitchell at receiver,” RWA head coach Rob O’Connell said.

Wardlaw fumbled the ball on their first drive, and the Eagles scooped it up on the Patriots’ 18-yard line. Peyton Gilbert clocked an 18-yard rushing touchdown on the next play to the give the Eagles a firm 13-0 lead, but things went downhill fast for Richard Winn after that and they allowed 44 unanswered points.

“We’ve got to mentally stay in the game,” O’Connell said. “We try to tell them everything is not going to go perfect every play. We’ve got to be able to respond when things go bad.”

Down 13-0, Wardlaw got the ball at their own 20-yard line, and on the shoulders of their running back Will Padgett, marched 80 yards down the field for their first score of the season.

On the next Patriots’ drive they kept rushing the ball down the Eagles’ throats until quarterback Britt Gossett was able to scramble for a 6-yard touchdown, and at the close of the first Richard Winn was down 16-13.

The second quarter proved to be more of the same from Wardlaw. They handed the ball off time and time again to Padgett, who could not be stopped. He had over 30 rushing opportunities in the game and made nearly every one count.

“It’s tough when the guys are running down your throat and you can’t stop them,” O’Connell said. “We tried to make adjustments, our kids were trying to do what we coached them to do. Obviously we didn’t tackle well, and so we’ve got to do a better job preparing them. I’ll take that one on myself and we’ll get back at it this week.”

Padgett scored two more times in the second quarter, helping stretch the Wardlaw lead out to 28-13. The first came off a 2-yard option run, and the second was an 8-yard touchdown reception.

On the first drive of the second half it was Padgett coming through again, but this time with an 11-yard rushing touchdown, on a possession in which they had started from their own 26-yard line.

The Eagles, now down 24-points, could not muster any second-half offense. Their three second-half possessions ended with two punts, and a turnover on downs.

As the third quarter was expiring, Padgett buried the last nail in the coffin with a 15-yard rushing score, ending what was yet another long drive that this time started on their own 7-yard line. The Patriots sat on the ball much of the fourth quarter to preserve the 44-13 victory.

“We’ve got guys that haven’t played meaningful snaps on a Friday night so we know that they’re learning,” O’Connell said. “We’ve got kids that they’re trying to do what we’re coaching them to do, which is really important. That’s definitely a positive. We’ve got guys that are playing the whole game both ways, and they’re playing hard. It’s early and it’s hot so I’m pleased with the group, I’m proud of them, we just have to keep working.”

This Friday, Richard Winn will be making the nearly three-hour trek to Mt. Pleasant to meet up with Coastal Christian.

“Coming off the game we just played, we have to tackle better and have kids in the right spot defensively. I know they’re going to be well coached and I expect a similar type game, we’ve got to show up and be mentally prepared to play a full game,” O’Connell said.

 

WA:16-12-16-0-44

RWA:13-0-0-0-13

 

Scoring

First Quarter

RWA – Mitchell Gibbons 30 run (Gibbons kick). 10:27.

RWA – Peyton Gilbert 18 run (run failed). 10:11.

WA – Will Padgett 5 run (Padgett run). 6:20.

WA – Britt Gossett 6 run. (Padgett run). 2:39.

Second Quarter

WA – Will Padgett 2 run (run failed). 5:43.

WA – Will Padgett 8 pass from Britt Gossett (kick failed). 1:18.

Third Quarter

WA – Will Padgett 11 run (Padgett run). 7:29.

WA – Will Padgett 15 run (Padgett run). 1:11.

 

TEAM STATS

 

WA                             RWA

First downs                 21                                4

Rushes/Yards             58-442                         17-117

C-A-I-TD                    2-4-0-0                        3-11-0-0

Fumbles/lost                4/2                               3/0

Penalties/yards            6-55                             3-25

 

INDIVIDUAL STATS

 

RUSHING: WA – Will Padgett 39-368, Britt Gossett 12-73, Mason Burgess 2-5, Hunter Sherrill 5- (-4). RWA – Mitchell Gibbons 7-63, Peyton Gilbert 8-38, Brandon Miller 1-8, Zack Taylor 1-8.

RECEIVING: WA – Will Padgett 1-8, Zach Berry 1-10. RWA – Johnny Edenfield 1-24, Mitchell Gibbons 1-8, Jake Clyburn 1-9.

PASSING: WA – Britt Gossett 2-3, 18 yards; Hunter Sherrill 0-1. Mitchell Gibbons 2-5, 33 yards; Zack Taylor 1-6, 8 yards.