W.S. Neal runs way to region win

Published 12:49 pm Sunday, October 7, 2007

By By Adam Robinson
sports editor

W.S. Neal head coach Blaine Hathcock said that for his team to post a victory, they would have to run the ball and play with a lot more enthusiasm and energy.
Consider those three things a check as W.S. Neal used 212 yards rushing and defeated Monroe County 36-6 Friday night at W.S. Neal Stadium in East Brewton.
W.S. Neal (3-3 overall, 2-2 class 4A region 1) got two rushing touchdowns from Akeem Green and two touchdown passes from quarterback Taylor Cash to Jeremy Nicholson and Jeremy Alexander and held the Monroe County offense to just 154 total yards on offense to take the region win.
Monroe County fell to 1-5 overall and 0-4 in region play.
"I thought we came out and played well and did what we needed to do to establish ourselves early in the game, which is something we did not do last week," Hathcock said. "We played with more intensity and played a little better overall."
After forcing Monroeville to punt on their first offensive series, W.S. Neal went to the ground early as they used the legs of Akeem Green and Nate Sheffield to move the ball to the Monroeville 33-yard line before setting up a Taylor Cash to Jeremy Nicholson 33-yard touchdown pass to take an early 6-0 after the failed kick with 5:37.
After alternating punts on their next offensive series, the W.S. Neal defense forced a Monroeville fumble at the Monroeville 35-yard line with 10:05 to go in the second quarter.
Again it was the legs on Sheffield and Green that moved the ball to the 30-yard line before Green pushed into the end zone making it an 14-0 Blue Eagle lead with 8:41 left in the half.
On their ensuing drive, Monroeville set up with first down at the Neal 45-yard line, but Chris Jones picked up another Monroeville fumble at the 48-yard line and raced all the way down the sideline to give the Eagles a 20-0 lead with 6;09 left in the quarter.
Monroeville again could not get any offense going as they were forced to punt from their on 23-yard line and after taking the ball at the Monroeville 49-yard line, Nicholson gave W.S Neal great field position as he returned the ball to the 32-yard line.
W.S. Neal was quick to score again after Cash connected for his second touchdown pass in the half as he found Jeremy Alexander in the back of the end zone and Alexander made a spectacular catch to make the Blue Eagle lead 28-0 with 1:43 left before halftime and the Eagles took that lead into the half.
"We played well on defense, and I thought that was a big key for us especially in the first half," Hathcock said. "The big key for us tonight was our intensity."
W.S. Neal then came out of the half rolling as they made five first downs on their seven plays to move the ball to the Monroeville 9-yard line. Green then added his second touchdown on the night as he rumbled into the end zone giving Neal their last offensive score of the night as they took a 36-0 lead with 8:55 left in the third quarter.
Monroeville added a late touchdown with 9:35 left in the game. After moving the ball to the W.S. Neal 3-yard line, the Tiger set up with first-and-goal. An incomplete pass on first down, followed by a 2-yard run by quarterback Manuel moved the ball to the Neal 1-yard line.
A false start on fourth down moved the ball back to the 7-yard line and an incomplete pass looked to have been a nice defensive stand by the Eagles, but a personal foul facemask against Neal gave Monroeville another shot and Booker ran into the end zone for the Tigers only touchdown as W.S. Neal held on for the win 36-6.
"We had them stopped on the goal line, but got a penalty," Hathcock said. "Overall, I was awful proud of them in the way they played so maybe that will give us some more confidence as we go along."
Nate Sheffield added 91 yards rushing on the night for the Eagles.
"I thought our offensive line blocked well tonight," Hathcock said. "Obviously, Nate (Sheffield) ran the ball well too, but our offensive line played well."
W.S. Neal will look to stay in the win column next week as they take on Hillcrest at home. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.