Eagles find redemption

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn Eagles were struggling in the midst of a four-game skid, but found their stride Friday against Tri-Academy. The Eagles were crisp on both sides of the ball and steam-rolled through Tri-Academy for the 43-6 victory. Richard Winn scored on their first five possessions, and the duo of Zack Taylor and Dru Caldwell scorched the Tri-Academy secondary for four passing touchdowns.

B Baker (20) throws a stiff arm to keep the oncoming Tri-Academy defender at bay. | Ross Burton

Tri-Academy, who also bears the Eagle namesake, received the opening kickoff but had to punt after only three plays. Richard Winn’s defense had their number all night and only surrendered 94 total yards, only five of which came through the air.

The Eagles marched 87 yards on nine plays during their first drive after a Tri-Academy punt pinned them deep in their own territory. Taylor’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Jake Clyburn helped cover most of that ground.

RWA’s defense held tight on the next Tri-Academy drive, and after three plays they were forced into another punt. Their second was not as good as their first and left Richard Winn with a short field.

It only took three plays to put up another square. This time, Dru Caldwell was credited with the touchdown pass. His four-yard passing score to B Baker and successful two-point conversion attempt gave Richard Winn a 15-0 advantage.

After another poor Tri-Academy punt, Taylor and the Eagles struck again before the end of the first quarter. Taylor hit up Clyburn for a four-yard touchdown with the clock on zero. Both of Clyburn’s receptions were touchdown passes from Taylor.

The Eagles continued to pour on the scoring in the second quarter, and the Tri-Academy defense had no answers. Taylor unfurled a 45-yard bomb to Jimmy McKeown to lead off the second quarter avalanche.

A failed Tri-Academy drive led to a short-two minute window between Richard Winn trips to the end-zone. After another short possession, Tri-Academy punted the ball, and four plays later Richard Winn was in the end-zone. Lawton Brooks finished off the four-play, 22-yard drive with a four-yard rushing score.

Tri-Academy had two passes picked off in the last five minutes of the second quarter, one returned for an 11-yard touchdown by Brandon Miller. RWA had a dominant 43-0 lead at the half.

Richard Winn’s defense stayed in stride for the remainder of the game, and Tri-Academy did get a crooked figure on the scoreboard until a literal last second 45-yard run by quarterback Matt Hegler.

The win improved the Eagles to 2-4 on the year. They are back on the road this week against region foe Laurens Academy.

SCORING

RWA – 22-21-0-0-43

TA – 0-0-0-6-6

 First Quarter

RWA – Jake Clyburn 40 pass from Zack Taylor 10 run (Brandon Miller kick).6:19.

RWA – B Baker 4 pass from Dru Caldwell (B.Miller run).3:18.

RWA – J.Clyburn 4 pass from Z.Taylor (Brandon Miller kick).:00.

Second Quarter

RWA – Jimmy McKeown 45 pass from  Z.Taylor 4 run(B.Miller kick).9:48

RWA – Lawton Brooks 4 run (B.Miller kick).7:19.

RWA – B.Miller 11 interception return (B.Miller kick).4:44.

Fourth Quarter

TA– Matt Hegler 45 run (M.Hegler pass no good).0:00.

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Rushing:  Luke Martin 3-48, Dru Caldwell 2-16, Lawton Crooks 2-8, Brandon Miller 2-6, B Baker 3-2, J Talbert 3-(-7).

Receiving:  Jimmy McKeoown 4-66, Jake Clyburn 2-44, B Baker 2-13, Gavin Douglas 1-2.

Passing:  Zack Taylor 7-10,109 yards, three touchdowns. Dru Caldwell 2-4, 16 yards, one touchdown.

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