Eagles take down Holly Hill

WINNSBORO – The Eagles faced-off with Holly Hill Academy on Friday evening in the first round of the SCISA 8-Man State Playoffs and came away with a 38-14 win over the Raiders. Richard Winn improved to 10-1 on the season. The Eagles advance to the semifinals and will host St. Johns at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Holly Hill took the opening possession and drove into Richard Winn territory before fumbling. The Eagles recovered the fumble and took over their first series at the 50-yard line. The drive lasted two plays but it went the full 50-yards as Brandon Miller rushed for all 50, including a 46-yard touchdown to open scoring.

Senior Hudson Wade (3) hauls in a pass over a Raider defender. | Martha Ladd

Holly Hill converted on its next series as it went nine plays and 70-yards for the score. The drive was highlighted by runs of 14 and 16-yards and ended when the two-point conversion put the Raiders ahead 8-7 with 5:59 left in the opening quarter.

The Eagles then had one of their longest drives of the season in terms of plays as they went 15-plays and 82-yards for the go-ahead score. The Eagles never trailed again after Miller rushed for his second score, this time from 13-yards out. Richard Winn then recovered its on-side kick attempt and converted it into an 11-play, 45-yard drive capped by a four-yard touchdown run from Zack Taylor to put the Eagles up, 21-8.

Holly Hill got a 54-yard kickoff return to the Richard Winn 38-yard line. The Raiders converted that good return into a seven-play, 38-yard drive, finished with a six-yard touchdown run to close the gap, 21-14. The two-point conversion was no good and the score remained at half.

The Eagles scored on three of their four second-half possessions, two touchdowns and one field goal. Miller recorded his third touchdown of the game on the first series of the second half in the form of a 21-yard run. Taylor had his second rushing score in the fourth quarter, this time from one-yard out, making it 35-14. Miller added a 25-yard field goal with 43 seconds remaining to take the game to its final score of 38-14.

Richard Winn finished with 402 yards of offense (280 rushing, 122 passing), while Holly Hill was held to 193 yards (187 rushing, 6 passing).

Miller finished the day with 36 carries for 233 yards on the ground. Taylor had six carries for 37 yards, while Joey Bannister rushed twice for 10 yards. Taylor also went 6-11 passing for 122 yards. Hudson Wade had three catches for 100 yards and B Baker had three catches for 22 yards. Miller led the way defensively with eight tackles.

The Eagles host St. Johns on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The winner will advance to the State Championship on Nov. 22 where they will face the winner of Andrew Jackson and Palmetto Christian.