WSN football to host Straughn Friday night in first region game

Published 5:00pm Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Coming off a 36-0 road win at Holtville Friday night to start the season, the W.S. Neal Eagle football team will play their first home game of the 2013 season and first region game of the year Friday night against the Straughn Tigers.
Straughn is coming off a 12-6 loss to rival Andalusia in week one of the 2013 season.
W.S. Neal head coach Doug Hoehn said he thought his team played hard Friday night in the opening win against Holtville.
“We did a good job taking care of the ball and not turning it over,” Hoehn said. “Quarterback Malcolm Hawthorne had a good game with 212 rushing yards on 28 attempts and had a touchdown. He was 5-of-6 throwing the ball with a touchdown pass. Quenton Samuels rushed for 107 yards on 18 attempts and had a couple of touchdowns. Orlando Smith and Khadarrius Taylor did a real nice job of blocking on the offensive line. Miles Powell had three catches and one for a touchdown.”
On defense, Hoehn said his team did well.
“We held them to one first down,” Hoehn said. “We held them to minus-4 yards of total offense. On offense, we finished with 401 yards. Tory Brown had six tackles and a sack along with Michael Williams. D.J. Hodges had five tackles and Dakota Graves had four. Miles had an interception for us. Trey Taylor had two punt for 77 yard and had an average of 38.5 yards per punt.”
As for Straughn, Hoehn said his team has their work cut out for them.
“This will be a tough football game for us,” Hoehn said. “They are a senior-heavy team. I think everyone who started for them last year returned back for them except for two kids. So they have a lot of experience. They are very sound on defense and are an option team on offense. They do a good job of taking care of the ball on offense with their reads and pitches. They have a very good kicking game and that goes a long ways to winning the battle of field position. From what I can tell on film, they don’t have anyone going both ways on offense and defense. That means they are going to have much more depth than us Friday night and it’s going to be a big challenge.”
Last year, Straughn held off a late Eagle rally to come away with a 36-30 win in Straughn.
While Straughn won the game, a scuffle in the game grabbed most of the attention last year.
With 3.6 seconds left in the third quarter and the Eagles trailing 36-14, a scuffle on the field between an Eagle and a Straughn Tiger escalated to players — although not all — leaving the bench. The scuffle was quickly dispelled by team coaches and support staff.
After all was said and done, nine W.S. Neal players and five Straughn players were ejected from the game.
The W.S. Neal Eagle football team ended up having 12 players suspended for two games after the Alabama High School Athletic Association handed down penalties associated with the incident.
Hoehn does not expect things from last year to affect the game this year.
“I don’t think it does (have an impact on this year’s game),” Hoehn said. “I expect both teams to play hard Friday night and to play with a lot of class.”
According to the Andalusia Star-News, Straughn is coming off of a 9-4 record and Class 3A state semifinals finish in 2012.
From a numbers standpoint, the Tigers have more than 70 players on the roster, more than any other season.
The Tigers will have 23 seniors taking charge this season. Additionally, there are more than 20 juniors on the team also.
There will be nine starters back on offense and seven starters back on defense, the coach said.
Offensively, Straughn’s offensive line will be the most experienced and also its main strength.
SHS has all five starters — Dalton Watson, Conner Livings, Zack Riley, Brady Page and Brock Watson — returning to the offensive line this season.
While the offensive line has its corps group back, the Tigers have a big spot to fill in finding a new quarterback. Rollin Kinsaul the starting quarterback.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at W.S. Neal Stadium.

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