W.S. Neal falls to No. 1 Jackson
Coming into the region game against the Jackson Aggies, the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles knew that the task at hand would be a daunting one considering Jackson’s No. 1 state ranking and perennial toughness.
The Aggies (3-0 and 2-0 in region play) came out firing on all cylinders en route to a 54-14 win in East Brewton.
Despite struggling at times, the Blue Eagle offense managed to rally and put points on the scoreboard even though the game was well out of reach.
“I was very happy with our effort in the fact that we continued to play regardless of the score,” Blue Eagle head coach Kevin Jordan said. “Still, our execution has been the problem. We fumbled inside our own 5-yard line, dropped passes that would have resulted in first downs, and had bad passes that would have resulted in long completions. We have got to stop digging ourselves into holes early.”
Following the opening kickoff and four straight rushing plays, the Aggies were faced with a third-down and one yard to go from the Blue Eagle 39 yard-line. On that third down attempt, Ledarrius Bowe received the handoff and rushed around the left end for a touchdown. Chris Pate’s PAT kick gave the Aggies the early lead with 9:29 left in the opening frame.
On the ensuing kickoff the Blue Eagles (0-3 and 0-2 in region play) early game miscues began to present themselves, as the ball bounced between Neal players near the 15 yard-line allowing Jackson defenders to give pursuit. Latrae Williams scooped up the ball near the five but was hit and downed on the Blue Eagle one yard-line. Just two plays later, the Blue Eagles fumbled the football over to Jackson. “That really killed us early. We fumbled trying to get off our own goalline and before you know it we were down two scores quick,” Jordan added. On the very next play, Bowe added his second touchdown in as many carries. Following the one yard score, the Blue Eagles were down 14-0.
On its ensuing possession, the Blue Eagle offense found itself getting deeper into that hole when on second down, L. Williams fumbled on the Blue Eagle 24 yard-line. One play later, Dustyn Moseley hit Robert Pritchett down the middle of the field for a 24 yard score. With just over five minutes having passed by on the clock, the Aggies lead 21-0.
For the third straight possession, the Blue Eagles turned the ball over to the Aggies when Lawrence James intercepted Dylan Godwin’s pass at the Blue Eagle 20 yard-line. Several plays later, Tyrell Kinder added another Jackson score on a one yard run. The Aggies now lead 28-0.
Following a Blue Eagle punt, Bowe grabbed the handoff and dashed 53 yards for his third and the Aggies fifth touchdown of the first quarter. Despite a missed PAT, the Aggies were now on top 34-0.
The Blue Eagles offense managed to move the ball down the field via carries by Damion Williams and Trevor Burns before being forced to punt from midfield.
After a Hunter Mullins punt that was downed at the 25-yard line, Jackson continued its scoring ways using four straight plays of 10 yards or more and the fourth touchdown carry from Bowe to extend its lead to 41-0.
Once again the Blue Eagles used the legs of Burns and D. Williams to gain seven yards before the third down pass from Godwin to Ashton Elliot was ruled incomplete. For the third straight possession, the Blue Eagles were forced to punt. The Mullins punt sailed to the Jackson 29 yard-line where LaKendrick James gathered the kick and dashed 79 yards for the late first half score. The punt return touchdown put the Aggies ahead 47-0.
On the opening possession of the second half, the Blue Eagles showed signs of life when right out the gate, D. Williams returned the kickoff to the Jackson 45 yard-line. Following a key third down carry from Mullins and another in a 27 yard run from L. Williams, the Blue Eagles managed to move the ball deep into the Aggie redzone. Following several short carries, the Blue Eagle offense was faced with a fourth down from the one yard-line. On fourth down, D. Williams capped off the eight play drive when he scored the first touchdown for the Blue Eagles. A Logan Williamson PAT moved the score to 47-7.
Receiving motivation from the offense, the defense managed to force the Aggies to turn the ball over on downs on the Blue Eagle 29 yard-line. After a carry for negative yardage moved the ball to the 25 yard-line, Godwin hit Elliot for a 20-yard completion. Elliot then broke several tackles on his way to the end zone for the second score in as many second half possessions for the Blue Eagles. The PAT now left the score at 47-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Despite the offensive surge and defensive tenacity throughout the third quarter, the Blue Eagles did not manage to reach the end zone as the only remaining score came with three minutes left in the game when Jackson’s Ladarrius Richardson scored leaving the final score at 54-14.
The Blue Eagles will travel to Atmore next Friday to challenge area foe and in-county opponent Escambia County. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.