Eagle seniors shine on senior night

Eagle seniors Lacey Peake, left, Ben Clowney (44), Landon Smith (8), Ethan Steward (22), Drew Spires (2), Ryan Mills (24) and Tony Armstrong (10) were honored Friday. | Photos: Laura Bonds

WINNSBORO – Richard Winn Academy’s regular season ended with a big win on senior night as the Eagles trounced the Laurens Academy Crusaders 36-8 on Friday, October 27. The Eagles recognized their senior cheerleader and football players prior to kickoff.

Laurens elected to receive the opening kickoff but went three and out before punting the ball out of bounds at the Eagle 36 yard line.

The Eagles’ first drive was spotty after a 36 yard run by senior Landon Smith. A false start penalty and incomplete passes stalled the drive at the Crusader 34 yard line.

Laurens quarterback Ethan Collins moved the ball across midfield before turning the ball back over to the Eagles after a failed pass attempt on fourth down. Richard Winn capitalized on the turnover, moving the ball 56 yards on five plays for a score as quarterback Charlie Bonds completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to senior Drew Spires. Spires also converted for two points, giving the Eagles the lead 8-0.

The Crusaders again failed to convert on fourth down after Collins’ pass fell incomplete, and Richard Winn reclaimed possession at their own 23 yard line. The drive nearly stalled after two penalties against the Eagles, but Bonds completed a middle screen to Smith for a gain of 22. On fourth down, Bonds found an open Spires for a 73 yard touchdown. Josh Tyndall’s point-after kick was good, giving the Eagles a 15-0 lead.

The Crusaders received the Eagle kick at the Richard Winn 49 yard line. After an 18 yard handoff to Hack Hardy, the Eagles forced Collins to fumble to take over possession. Collins was injured on the play.

Richard Winn’s defense held Laurens to only eight points.

Four plays later, Bonds connected with Spires for a 57-yard touchdown. The two-point play increased the Eagle margin 23-0 heading into halftime.

Laurens’ kicker Hector Rubio attempted an onside kick that was recovered by the Eagles. Bonds led a five-play, 51-yard drive to the end zone with a strike to Spires for 26 yards. Tyndall’s point-after kick missed, but the Eagles led 29-0.

Rubio returned the kickoff for the Crusaders 25 yards to the 35 yard line. Jared Willard replaced Collins at quarterback, and led a nine-play drive on the ground to the Eagle 27 yard line before coming up short on fourth down. The Eagles culminated the drive with a touchdown run by Hoffman Sharpe for 56 yards. Tyndall’s kick gave the Eagles a 36-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Crusaders answered on a 70-yard touchdown run by Garrett Murphy. Willard’s two-point conversion was good, and the Crusaders trailed the Eagles 36-8.

The Eagles ran out the clock by running the ball on their final possession, handing the ball to senior Ben Clowney on the final play.

Bonds was nine for 13 passing, amassing 229 yards and four touchdowns. Spires caught six passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Sharpe led the Eagle ground attack with 94 yards on six carries and one touchdown. Spires led the defense with 11.5 tackles.

Eagles Head Coach Paul Brigman celebrated the win and the seniors.

“It was a good win, and a great opportunity to recognize our seniors for all of the hard work they have invested in our program,” he said. “It’s always good to win on senior night.” The Eagles head into the SCISA 8-man playoffs with home field advantage, hosting the Holy Trinity Classical Christian Mighty Lions on Friday, November 3.

“We’re excited about our first round playoff game. We look forward to being in front of our home crowd,” Brigman said. “We still have to continue to play better if we want to continue to advance in the playoffs. We look forward to the challenge.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm at Ruff Field in Winnsboro.

The winner of Friday’s game will advance to the semifinals to face the winner of Jefferson Davis Academy and King Academy.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]