Eagles defend home turf in second win

Ethan Steward (22) and Ryan Mills (24) stop a Patriot run. | Laura Bonds

WINNSBORO – Richard Winn Academy hosted the Wardlaw Patriots at Ruff Field on Friday, September 1, looking to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Eagles jumped ahead early, scoring in the first two minutes of play after receiving the opening kickoff. Richard Winn’s offense proved indefensible down the stretch as the Eagles averaged under five plays per scoring drive.

Junior quarterback Charlie Bonds connected with senior receiver Drew Spires on the first drive for an eight-yard touchdown. Junior kicker Josh Tyndall completed the PAT and the Eagles had the lead with 10:16 left in the first quarter. Richard Winn’s defense forced Wardlaw to punt on their first drive, but the Patriots responded with a defensive stop of their own on the Eagles’ next drive. The Eagle defense answered in kind by forcing the Patriots to punt, and Spires exploded with a 93-yard return for a score. Bonds converted the two-point conversion to give the Eagles a 15-0 lead.

Tyndall’s onside kick bounced off several Patriot players before being recovered by Richard Winn at the Wardlaw 43 yard line. The Eagles advanced the ball to the 30 yard line on a 13-yard reception from Bonds to senior Ethan Steward. The Eagles lost 5 yards on a false start penalty, but on 2nd and 15 from the 35 yard line, Bonds elected to keep the ball and scampered the distance to the goal line for the Eagles’ third score.

Wardlaw fought back early in the second quarter, pounding the ball on the ground. Patriots quarterback Colt Bailey ran the ball 25 yards to the end zone following a 21-yard option pitch to running back Addison Faust. Wardlaw failed to complete the two-point conversion. The Patriots’ methodical ground attack resulted in two more scores before halftime. 

Richard Winn was not deterred by the Patriots’ offensive production, scoring three times in the second quarter. Bonds completed two touchdown passes to Spires and scored on a 13-yard keeper. As time expired in the first half, the Eagles had outscored the Patriots 43-22.

Wardlaw scored first in the second half on a 9-play, 67-yard drive. The Eagles responded with their own 12-play, 55-yard drive, climaxing with a 28-yard touchdown strike from Bonds to Spires.

The Eagle defense forced a turnover on downs on the next Patriots drive that led to the Eagles’ eighth touchdown. Patriots running back Jesse Cleveland fumbled a handoff in the backfield on fourth down, and Richard Winn completed a 55-yard drive as Bonds found Spires open for a 45-yard touchdown.

The Patriots scored once more on a 25-yard completion from Bailey to receiver Michael Martin, but the damage was done and the Eagles improved to 2-0 on the season.

Quarterback Charlie Bonds commanded the Eagle offense, completing 12 of 16 passes for 255 yards and five touchdowns. Bonds was the leading rusher for the Eagles, gaining 109 yards on 9 carries for two scores. Drew Spires was on the receiving end of Bonds’ five touchdown passes, and ran a punt back 93 yards for a score.

Head Coach Paul Brigman praised the offensive play.

 “Offensively, we have continued to execute well,” he said. “Charlie (Bonds) and Drew (Spires) have been playing at a high level.

Ethan Steward led the defense with 9.5 tackles, and Spires contributed 8.5 tackles. Senior Ryan Mills also recorded 7 tackles.

Brigman said he wants to see more depth on the defensive side of the ball.

“Defensively we got banged up a little on Friday, and had to play some younger guys. We must build depth on that side of the ball going forward, but overall our defense was good against a tough team. I thought we responded well to the challenge,” he said.

Richard Winn travels to Newberry on Friday, September 8, to face off against the Newberry Academy Eagles. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.

Richard Winn – 21-22-8-6 – 57

Wardlaw – 0-22-6-6 – 34

First Quarter

RW – Drew Spires 8 pass from Charlie Bonds (Tyndall kick) – 10:16

RW – Drew Spires 93 punt return (Bonds pass) – 3:09

RW – Charlie Bonds 35 run (Tyndall kick failed) – 2:28

Second Quarter

WA – Colt Bailey 25 run (Bailey pass failed) – 11:36

RW – Drew Spires 57 pass from Charlie Bonds (Bonds pass) – 11:15

WA – Jackson Smoak 33 pass from Colt Bailey (Bailey run) – 4:01

RW – Charlie Bonds 12 run (Bonds pass) – 3:08

WA – Jesse Cleveland 27 pass from Colt Bailey (Cleveland run) – 1:08

RW – Drew Spires 19 pass from Charlie Bonds (Bonds pass failed) – :15

Third Quarter

WA – Colt Bailey 12 run (Bailey pass failed) – 7:46

RW – Drew Spires 28 pass from Charlie Bonds (Bonds pass) – :14

Fourth Quarter

RW – Drew Spires 45 pass from Charlie Bonds (Bonds pass failed) – 3:14

WA – Jackson Smoak 25 pass from Colt Bailey (Bailey pass failed) – 1:32

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