Eagles fly past Opp with highest point output in three years

Published 2:19 pm Monday, October 2, 2006

The first half of the season has been a seesaw for the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles football team.
W.S. Neal had its biggest upside of the season Friday, as it smothered the host Opp Bobcats 60-14 in a non-region game. The win continued a trend in which the Blue Eagles (3-2) have alternated wins and losses each week.
The 60 points scored marked the most for the W.S. Neal since it smashed Calhoun 63-6 back in the 2003 campaign.
The Blue Eagles were able to eliminate the costly mistakes they made in the previous week's loss to top-ranked Thomasville where their offense managed just 70 yards rushing and coughed up six turnovers.
Against Opp (1-4), the Blue Eagles racked up 514 yards of total offense, 424 of which came via the run, committed no turnovers and scored on every possession in the first half.
The Blue Eagles wasted little time before they delivered their first touchdown. After it forced Opp to punt on the game's opening, W.S. Neal's offense gained possession on its own 31-yard line. Two Nykeem Barton rushes followed by an eight-yard pass completion from Marquis Barksdale to Jonathan Alexander set up a third-and-short situation at the Bobcats' 45-yard line. Justin Smith was able to cover that distance on the next play when he won a dash to the endzone. The extra point kick by Jamar Travis was good and gave the Blue Eagles a 7-0 lead with 8:58 left in the first quarter.
W.S. Neal's second score came on a possession where the Blue Eagles converted two third downs. Barton rushed for what would be the first of his four total touchdowns on an eight-yard run. Travis' kick took the lead up to 14-0.
It took W.S. Neal just one play to score the next time it touched the ball when Barksdale faked the handoff and ran around the left end down the sideline for a 71-yard touchdown. Travis' PAT extended the Blue Eagles' lead to 21-0 with 36 seconds left in the first frame.
While Opp's offense continued to struggle, W.S. Neal's offense continued to stay perfect with its fourth straight scoring possession early in the second quarter.
The Blue Eagles used just two plays to go 62 yards. An 18-yard run by Nate Sheffield set up a 44-yard touchdown run by Barton for another score. The extra point attempt by Travis was good and moved the score to 28-0 with 9:09 left in the first half.
W.S. Neal strung together its longest drive, a possession that lasted nearly half the second quarter, on its fifth series when it went 77 yards over eight plays. Barton scored his third touchdown of the half when he hauled in a 27-yard pass from Barksdale. Travis' PAT increased the Blue Eagles' lead to 35-0 with 41 seconds left in the first half.
While W.S. Neal's offense was finally forced to punt on its opening series of the second half, the Blue Eagles scoring machine went back to work on its second series. It was Barton who kept the scorekeeper busy again, as he powered his way over tacklers and down the left sideline for a 73-yard touchdown for his fourth and final touchdown of the contest. Travis came up short on the PAT attempt after five successful conversions, which left the score at 41-0 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
W.S. Neal's defense proved it could also get into the scoring act when Opp's Josh Scarbrough grabbed the handoff, was hit, and fumbled the ball. Xavier Singleton scooped up the ball and ran 27-yards for a touchdown. Akeem Green relieved Travis of the kicking duties and nailed the PAT, which enlarged the Blue Eagles' lead to 48-0 with 1:20 left in the third quarter.
The Bobcats managed to score early in the fourth quarter when Hall found Zack Spann for a 39-yard touchdown. Chris Dunbar's PAT left the score at 48-7.
The Blue Eagles quickly got back the lost points on the ensuing kickoff. Smith grabbed the kickoff at the 15-yard line, got several good blocks and ran his way for an 85-yard touchdown. The score remained at 54-7 after Green missed the PAT.
Many of W.S. Neal's younger players contributed to its final score, as Sheffield carried the ball three times for 29 yards and Taylor Cash ran for 25 yards. The drive ended with 4:28 left in the game when Cash ran in the final five yards for a score. Green's missed kick extended the lead to 60-7.
Opp posted its final score in the last minute when Justin Teague found the endzone from one yard out. Hunter Jones' PAT kick left the score at 60-14.
The Blue Eagles resume region play as it travels to Monroeville for a pivotal contest at Monroe County. Monroe County (2-3) lost to Greenville 49-6 Friday.

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