Eagles put up big numbers, fall to Hillcrest
Despite having over 300 yards passing and 379 total yards of offense and scoring 14 more points more than they have all season in one game Friday, the W.S. Neal Eagles lost to Hillcrest 47-28 at W.S. Neal Stadium in East Brewton.
The loss dropped the Eagles to 0-5 overall.
“Well, I am hurting for our kids because I wanted so badly for them to be able to walk off the playing field tonight with a victory,” W.S. Neal Eagle head coach Kevin Jordan said. “Those kids have been through a lot this week and I wanted them to have a good feeling inside from this game. I could not be anymore prouder of them had we won the game. I thought they played hard for 48 minutes and that is what we asked them to do and that is what they did tonight. We had opportunities tonight. We really did. At times we cashed in on those opportunities and at times, we made mistakes.”
After scoring first to lead 7-0 with 2:17 left in the first quarter, Hillcrest cut the lead to 7-6 with 6.7 seconds left in the first quarter.
From there, Hillcrest scored on offense and picked off an Eagle pass for a touchdown with 2:28 left before half to lead 19-7.
W.S. Neal had their chance to cut the lead right before the half, but was stopped at the 3-yard line for fourth down to trail 19-7 at the half.
W.S. Neal started the second half using one play to get a 72-yard from Monterrius Culliver to cut the lead to 19-14 after Logan Williamson’s PAT.
“I thought right down there at the end of the first half, going into at halftime, had we punched the ball in right there, we would have had a lot of momentum going in at halftime and we would have got the ball to start the second half,” Jordan said. “We scored the firs play of the second half. Had we scored at the end of the first half and we scored on the first play of the second half, we would have been ahead in the game. But, we made some crucial, crucial mistakes that cost us a couple of touchdowns for them.”
After seeing Hillcrest take a 38-14 lead with 4:17 left in the third quarter, the Eagles scored on a 37-yard pass from Dylan Godwin to Ashton Elliott and got an onside kick and a 48-yard pass from Godwin to Culliver to cut the lead to 38-28 with 2:05 left in the quarter.
From there, Hillcrest outscored the Eagles 9-0 in the fourth quarter to win the game by 19 points.
“We had some guys make some plays on offense that we have not seen around here in a long time,” Jordan said. “I am very proud of them for that. I thought we played well at quarterback and on the perimeter as we had some wide receivers make some plays tonight.”
W.S. Neal racked up 313 yards of passing offense and 66 rushing for a total of 379 yards. Hillcrest had 339 yards with 300 coming on the ground.
Culliver led the Eagles on the ground with 79 yards on five carries and one touchdown. Godwin finished 18-for-29 for 313 yards and two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Elliott led W.S. Neal receiving with 189 yards on six carries and one touchdown.
“The turnovers hurt us,” Jordan said. “We threw for 313 yards, but the turnovers we had in the game were costly turnovers. They turned directly into points for the other team. That was costly, but I thought our passing game was very good tonight with over 300 yards passing. That is very good and again our two wide receivers in Ashton Elliott and Monterrius Culliver made great plays on the perimeter. Also Jeffrey McMillan made some good catches. Defensively, I thought we wore down in the second half late. We had a lot of guys playing both ways and they played their hearts out. When that happens, they are not saving energy but using it all. I am very proud for the kids though and wanted them to win the ballgame tonight for them and not anyone else.”
W.S. Neal will travel to Monroe County next week as they begin region play again.