Eagles tame Mighty Lions, advance to semis

The Eagles have put up 543 points in 11 games this season. | Laura Bonds

WINNSBORO – Richard Winn opened the SCISA 8-man football playoffs at home, hosting Holy Trinity Classical Christian School at Ruff Field on Friday, November 3. Holy Trinity won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff, but failed to score on the opening drive.

The contest was back and forth as the Eagles traded blows with the Mighty Lions throughout the first half.

The Eagles struck first as quarterback Charlie Bonds completed a four-play, 40 yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Drew Spires. Spires’ two-point conversion put the Eagles up 8-0.

Richard Winn took a 16-0 lead after Bonds connected with Spires for a 56-yard touchdown. Jonathan Bonds completed the two-point play.

The Mighty Lions answered with a 52-yard touchdown pass and successfully converted for two points, bringing the score within eight.

Bonds found an open Ethan Steward for a 15-yard touchdown. Spires completed the two-point conversion to give the Eagles a 24-8 advantage.

Holy Trinity recorded the next two scores on the ground with 21-yard and 40-yard runs across the goal line. Both two-point plays failed, but the Mighty Lions pulled to within four points.

Charlie Bonds returned the Mighty Lions’ kickoff 52 yards for a score. Spires’ pass to Eli Smith was good for two points, and the Eagles led 32-20.

The Mighty Lions narrowed the Eagle lead to six points after a 53-yard touchdown run, but the Eagles responded with a score of their own. Eli Smith scurried 4 yards into the end zone, and Bonds’ two-point conversion put the Eagles ahead by 14 points.

Holy Trinity scored once more in the first half on a 34-yard rush, but Bonds led a four-play, 47 yard drive to the end zone to give the Eagles a 46-32 lead at halftime.

Second half adjustments proved beneficial for the Eagles and they held the Mighty Lions to one score. Richard Winn found the end zone four times in the second half. Landon Smith scampered three yards for a score, and Bonds completed touchdown passes to Spires (19 yards) and Steward (20 yards). Hoffman Sharpe rounded out the Eagles’ scoring with a four-yard dash across the goal line.

Eagle quarterback Charlie Bonds completed 11 passes for 289 yards and six touchdowns. Drew Spires was the leading receiver, catching seven passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns. Ethan Steward hauled in three balls for 75 yards and two scores. Landon Smith was the Eagles’ leading rusher, collecting 57 yards on six carries and one touchdown. Eli Smith ran the ball seven times for 39 yards and a touchdown. Hoffman Sharpe scored and ran for 30 yards on three carries. Spires led the defense with nine tackles. Eli Smith (2), Ben Clowney (1), and Turner Burchell (1) all recorded sacks. Steward and Josh Tyndall each had interceptions.

Head Coach Paul Brigman praised the effort. “It was a good win! Our offense continued to play well, as they have all season.”

Brigman noted the inconsistency on defense, and acknowledged that the Eagles “will have to play better to win on Friday night in the semifinals. We are excited about the opportunity to go out and play better this week.”

After the 77-38 victory, the Eagles will host Jefferson Davis Academy in the semifinal round of the playoffs on Friday, November 10. Kickoff is slated for 7:30pm in Winnsboro.

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