Eagles Cruise to First Round Win

Brandon Miller (1) looks for the edge of the Saints' defense. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

Brandon Miller (1) looks for the edge of the Saints’ defense. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

WINNSBORO (Nov. 7, 2016) – Richard Winn (8-3) started their run in the 2016 SCISA 8-Man playoffs with a convincing 34-6 victory over Clarendon Hall Friday as they look to continue their way to another State Title.

“We at times didn’t look our best, and that was because of the familiarity of the opponent, but I am glad we continued our approach to come away with the victory,” Eagles head coach Robert O’Connell said.

Richard Winn didn’t waste any time scoring, needing fewer than 5 minutes to get the game’s first points as quarterback Zach Taylor hit Noah Edwards, giving the Eagles a 6-0 lead after a failed pat.

“Our defense played a tremendous game tonight, getting big stops when we needed them,” O’Connell said.

The Eagles forced the Saints to turn the ball over on downs on their first passion of the game. The Eagle offense would march down the field leading to Taylor scoring his second touchdown of the first quarter. The 2-point conversion was a success, increasing the Eagle lead to 14-0.

Clarendon Hall responded, returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to cut the lead to 14-6. But Taylor answered back with his third touchdown (second passing) of the opening quarter, hitting Christian Christianson for the TD. Another failed PAT gave the Eagles a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“I thought Zach played an excellent game tonight for us. His leadership helped us get those early touchdowns in the game giving us cushion majority of the game,” O’Connell said.

Both defenses put on a strong display in the second quarter as both Richard Winn and Clarendon Hall struggled to get any traction before the first half came to end. With 1:36 left in the half Christianson scored on a pick-6 giving the Eagles a 27-6 halftime lead.

“Christian played a heck of a game on both sides of the ball, especially on the defensive side tonight,” O’Connell said. “I was really happy for him tonight and all of our guys on defense tonight.”

Both Richard Winn and Clarendon Hall were held scoreless in the third quarter with numerous opportunities being taken away as both defenses held one another out of the end zone. Christianson ended the drought with 11:36 left in the game as he scored on his second pick-6 of the night giving the Eagles the final score of 34-6.

The win sends RWA into the semifinals this Friday at Andrew Jackson Academy in Ehrhardt.

The Confederates manhandled Richard Winn on Sept. 30, 60-22.

“We have a tough task ahead of us going against a team that has had our number this season but I believe with the kids we have we can pull out the victory,” O’Connell said.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.