W.S. Neal defeats Andalusia, 20-17
By By LISA TINDELL, Managing editor
The Kick-Off Classic proved to be a big night for the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles as they defeated the Andalusia Bulldogs, 20-17.
This was the first game for the new head coach at W.S. Neal, Shane Smothers. The coach said that the Blue Eagles surprised him.
The team did play hard giving up only 17 points to the Bulldogs.
The first big play of the evening came when Neal senior running back Marcus Fulmar scored a touch down on a 76-yard run. The play came as the Eagles were spotted with a second down and 20 yards needed for a first down. The extra point attempt was made by Spencer Williamson, who was a little off target with the kick. But the Fulmar score put the Eagles on the board early in the first quarter with a 6-0 lead.
The next score to go on the board was by the Bulldogs, who were swarmed by the Neal defensive team. The Andalusia team turned their third-and-18 situation into a safety to put two points on the visitors side of the score board.
Neal answered with a big play from the offensive team after the defense stopped the Bulldogs and forced the team to punt.
Jake Bailey took a short pass from Marquis Barksdale and ran 73 yards for a touchdown. This put the Blue Eagles' lead at 12-2. Williams again took a shot at the PAT and was successful to put the Eagles at a 13-2 advantage over the Bulldogs with just under a minute left in the first quarter.
Ben Crane set up the Blue Eagles for another scoring chance with a pass interception. The Blue Eagles' offense appeared to score on the first play following the turnover, but a flag negated the score.
The Blue Eagles scored on the very next play with Alphonso Gross scoring on an 89-yard run. Williamson once again converted the PAT for a 20-2 W.S. Neal lead with 7:02 left in the first half.
Andalusia refused to give up and Wesley Liles came up big. the Eagles could not hold the running back when he flew down the field on a 49-yard run. The two-point conversion by Bulldog Neal Patterson was successful to bring the score to 20-10 with five minutes left in the first half.
Several plays and a penalty later, the Eagles were forced to punt to the Bulldogs. The punt put the ball on the 40 yard line for Andalusia. After just two plays, Andalusia's Liles ran a 60 sprint to take the ball into the end zone for the Bulldogs. The PAT by Trey Curry was called good and brought the score to Eagles 20, Bulldogs 17 with two minutes left in the first half of play.
Neither team scored again, despite some close calls after half time.
The Blue Eagles had a touchdown called back in the third quarter because of an illegal block penalty. No rally was made and the final score was 20-17 with the Eagles putting a win in the books for the 2003 Kick-Off Classic.
The Eagles will face Hillcrest High School in Evergreen for their first regular season game. The game will be held Friday, Aug. 29 with a 7:30 kick off.