Eagles Spoil Crusaders’ Homecoming

LAURENS (Oct. 17, 2016) – Richard Winn rolled into Laurens Friday to do action with the Laurens Academy Crusaders, who just happened to be celebrating their homecoming festivities. Homecoming, however, could not save Laurens Academy from the 51-6 beating the Eagles handed out.
“They just continue to get better,” Eagles’ head coach Rob O’Connell said. “We’re tough on them in practice and they’ve done a great job buying in, and committing to get better every day. Now it’s really starting to pay off late in the season.”
Richard Winn got the action going quickly in the first quarter. Eighth-grade quarterback Zack Taylor and senior receiver Noah Edwards came together on a 25-yard scoring strike that came just three minutes into the game.
Fast-forward to the end of the first quarter and Mitchell Gibbons found his way into the end zone on a 5-yard scamper, and Richard Winn stretched their lead out to 15-0. Gibbons was a monster in this game, and accounted for three rushing scores, a passing score, a receiving score and a field goal.
“First of all he is a great team guy,” O’Connell said. “We play him in a lot of different spots. He has a lot of our yards on offense, he takes a lot of hits, but you know he’s going to do whatever we ask him to do, which makes it easy and he’s also an explosive player who’s great with the ball in his hands.”
Laurens’ quarterback Wil Tindall threw his first of three picks on the opening play of the second quarter. The turnover quickly turned into more Richard Winn points as Gibbons connected with Peyton Gilbert for an 8-yard touchdown.
The Crusaders nearly marched onto the Richard Winn side of the field during their next drive, but the Eagles stuffed them on a fourth-and-short to halt the drive. The short field position led to Taylor hooking up with Gibbons for a 4-yard score, and his second passing touchdown of the game.
A couple of drives later Tindall hit Joshua Moore on a 54-yard bomb for the Crusaders first score of the half with just under three minutes remaining. That proved to be too much time for the Eagles, and with zero seconds left on the game clock Gibbons snuck the ball in from a yard away to give Richard Winn a 35-6 halftime lead.
“Our thing was to put a whole game together,” O’Connell said. “We really hadn’t done that all year. Last week we were up and we had a decent lead at halftime, but we didn’t play well in the second half, so we just told them to see if we can put a whole game together, and we can be pretty good when we put a whole game together.”
Richard Winn opened the second half with a touchdown on the ensuing kick return, but the score was called off due to a block in the back. The Eagles rebounded from the penalty, and picked up a 31-yard field goal on what turned out to be a five minute drive.
Tindall was picked off again on the next Crusaders’ possession, and this time Gilbert took the pick back to the house. Jonny Edenfield picked the ball off on Laurens’ next drive for his second interception of the game.
“We struggled early on, defensively,” O’Connell said. “We weren’t tackling well but they’ve done a great job in practice developing our tackling and it’s starting to payoff, so that was definitely our best defensive performance I think as a whole, which is great to see coming down the stretch.”
The Edenfield interception turned into another five-minute drive for Richard Winn that was capped off by Gibbons running the ball in from a yard out. The blowout improves Richard Winn’s overall record to 6-2 with just two games left to go in the regular season.
The Eagles will travel to Blackville Friday to meet up with the 2-6 Jefferson Davis Academy Raiders. The following week they will host the undefeated W.W. King Knights, and that game will be Richard Winn’s senior night.
“Region-wise we’re in pretty good shape,” O’Connell said. “We want to win the next two. We need to just keep playing consistently, and like we said try to put a whole game together. We’ve still got some things to correct from watching the film, but we just got to continue to improve.”

RWA: 15-20-9-7 – 51
LA: 0-6-0-0 – 6

First Quarter
RWA – Noah Edwards 25 pass from Zack Taylor (Johnny Edenfield 3 pass from Mitchell Gibbons). 9:05.
RWA – M. Gibbons 5 run (M. Gibbons kick). 0:40.
Second Quarter
RWA – Peyton Gilbert 8 pass from M. Gibbons (M. Gibbons kick). 9:27.
RWA – M. Gibbons 4 pass from Z. Taylor (M. Gibbons kick).6:36
LA: Joshua Moore 54 pass from Wil Tindall (run failed). 2:53.
RWA – M. Gibbons 1 run (pass failed). 0:00.
Third Quarter
RWA – M. Gibbons 31 FG. 7:00
RWA – P. Gilbert 41 INT return (kick failed). 6:29.
Fourth Quarter
RWA – M. Gibbons 1 run (M. Gibbons kick). 9:51.

RWA             LA
First Downs                 15                 5
Rushes/Yards           24-128           22-101
Passing Yards              194               103
C-A-I-TD                 15-21-0-3          5-13-3-1
Fumbles/ Lost            4/0                 0/0
Penalties/Yards        6-47                  10-72

Rushing: LA – Jonathan Burns 11-47, Charlton McCall 5-31, Wil Tindall 6-23. RWA – Mitchell Gibbons 13-52, Peyton Gilbert 2-14, Zack Taylor 4-34, Noah Edwards 2-17, Jonny Edenfield 3-11.
Receiving: LA – Joshua Moore 3-91, Jonathan Burns 1-7, Charlton McCall 1-5. RWA – Jonny Edenfield 2-14, Mitchell Gibbons 9-131, Noah Edwards 3-41,Peyton Gilbert 1-8.
Passing: LA – Wil Tindall 5-17, 103 yards, TD, 3 INTs. RWA – Zack Taylor 12-16, 169 yards, 2 TDs. Mitchell Gibbons 3-5, 25 yards, TD.

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