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Neal falls to No. 2 Thomasville

The W. S. Neal Blue Eagles faced off in a week eight battle against the Thomasville Tigers and came up with a 56-7 defeat.

Thomasville (8-0 overall, and 6-0 in region play) came into the game without a blemish on its record and a number two ranking in the latest ASWA polls.

“First of all, Thomasville is a great football team,” Neal head coach Kevin Jordan said. “They are every bit as good as we thought they were. With that being said, we had two blocked punts returned for touchdowns, and that is really disappointing.”

In a game where the Blue Eagles (0-8 overall, 0-6 in region play) seemed outmatched in several areas, team speed was the most glaring.

“They have the best team speed that we have seen so far. We knew going into the game that they ran well especially defensively,” Jordan said. “Their speed was a problem all the way through on offense, defense, and special teams.”

The Thomasville speed was evident right from the start as the Tigers took the opening kickoff and used just five plays to cover 57 yards. The drive, which included several quick-hitting plays, was capped off by a six-yard touchdown run from Tyler Hayes.

Following the ensuing kickoff, the Blue Eagle offense failed to convert on third and short and was forced to punt from inside its own 30 yard line.

On fourth down, Hunter Mullins was set to punt when his punt was blocked by a Tiger defender and returned 20 yards for a touchdown. Once again, the speed of the Tigers provided a quick score giving Thomasville the early lead at 14-0.

On its next three possessions, the Blue Eagle offense was forced to punt after a three-and-outs.

Following the punts, the Tigers gained outstanding field position, once at midfield, once at the Blue Eagle 38 yard line, and the other just inside the Blue-Eagle 20 yard line.

Having the ball in such outstanding positions, the Tigers again used the speed of its running backs to add three more touchdowns. Following the touchdown carries, Thomasville lead 35-0 with one minute left in the first quarter.

On its next possession, the Blue Eagle offense managed to move the ball near midfield before being stopped on third down. On fourth down, Camryn Blackman’s punt was blocked and returned by the Tigers for a touchdown, its second such score in the first half. Following the extra point, the Tigers held a 42-0 lead.

With time dwindling down before halftime and desperate for a score, the Blue Eagle defense forced and recovered a fumble at the Thomasville 16 yard line.

The offense pushed the ball to the two yard line before being faced with a fourth down and goal to go. After a Blue Eagle timeout, Monterius Culliver grabbed the pitch and ran around the left end for a touchdown.

The touchdown run, which occurred on the last play of the first half, and a Logan Williamson PAT moved the score to 42-7.

The only scoring that occurred in the second half came from two one-yard runs by Thomasville. With the final two scores, Thomasville left East Brewton with a 56-7 win.

The Blue Eagles will travel to Saraland for a Thursday night contest.

When asked about the Thursday contest, Jordan said, “We just gotta do a little more work early to make sure our gameplan is in by Monday. The good thing is, this is our third time preparing for a Thursday night game. It will be nothing new to us.”

Game time is set for 7 p.m.