WSN football goes 1-1 in jamboree Saturday
In a three-team jamboree Saturday night in East Brewton at W.S. Neal Stadium, the W.S. Neal Eagle football team ended their spring training period with a split against Linden and Escambia County of Atmore.
Playing in two 12-minute quarters, W.S. Neal opened with a 12-6 loss to the Patriots of Linden. In game two, the Eagles shutout Atmore 16-0 to earn a split.
Linden defeated Atmore 12-6 in the other game of the night making Linden go 2-0 in the jamboree followed by W.S. Neal at 1-1 and Atmore at 0-2.
W.S. Neal football head coach Doug Hoehn, who is entering his second year with the Eagles, said his team played very physical Saturday night.
“Compared to last year that is what we need to do and we have been working hard on that over the winter and in the spring,” Hoehn said of preparing his team to be physical.
In the game against Linden, the Patriots took an early 6-0 lead with 5:13 left in the first quarter before Josiah Nettles scored on a 12-yard run with 33.3 seconds left in the quarter to tie the game at 6-6.
With the game tied late in the second quarter and W.S. Neal at their own 34-yard line, the Eagles fumbled the ball and Linden recovered at the 41-yard line with 27.1 seconds left.
From there, the Patriots used four plays to score on a 19-yard pass on a 4th-and-two to take a 12-6 lead and seal the win.
“We made a lot less mistakes than at anytime last year, but we made three mistakes in the game and that was the difference in the game,” Hoehn said. “We shot ourselves in the foot because we could have went up 8-6 instead of 6-6 and not have had to do with the ball at the end of the game to try and score, but we always want to go for the win. I don’t want to go for the tie. I don’t care if it’s a jamboree or what it is. I am proud of the kids. These kids have done everything I have asked them to do. We just have to limit the mistakes and I think it is a 100 percent improvement over last year but we still have a long way to go.”
The Eagles totaled 116 yards in the loss with 98 rushing and 18 passing.
Trevor Burns led with 56 yards on 10 carries while Nettles had 27 yards on seven carries and one touchdown.
Quarterback Dylan Godwin was 2-for-5 passing for 18 yards. Andre Womack had both catches.
Linden totaled 204 yards with 76 rushing and 128 through the air.
In game two against Atmore, W.S. Neal racked up 183 yards of offense, all on the ground while holding the Blue Devils to 86 total yards to get a 16-0 win.
Nettles got the Eagles on the board first with a 49-yard rumble as he shed tackles the whole way to lead 8-0 with 7:11 left in the first quarter after the two-point conversion.
In the second half, Burns scored on four-yard run and Nettles added the conversion to lead 16-0 with 10:26 left in the game and to get the win.
Burns led with 76 yards on seven carries and had one touchdown and Nettles had 72 yards on four carries and one touchdown.
“I think we were even more physical in the second game against Atmore,” Hoehn said. “We challenge them every day to be physical. We didn’t make mistakes in the Atmore game and again that was the difference in the game. We made no mistakes and we were physical. I think we are in pretty good shape and I think that helped also. In both games, ball security was big. In the first game, we had the one turnover and didn’t have many the second. That is a big improvement over last year. We averaged four or five a game last year.”
Hoehn said he is pleased with where his team is right now.
“We had a tough spring,” Hoehn said. “We have six guys that are out injured. Four of those six are starters which means the other kids are just going to have to step up. These kids have done everything I have asked of them since day one that I got here. They are better and more physical and that is what I like. From here on out, we just have to stop the mistakes. We may be 100 percent better than last year, but we just have to stop the mistakes. It is that simple.”
The Eagles racked up a total of 299 yards in the two games with 281 yards rushing and 18 yards of total passing. W.S. Neal gave up a total of 290 yards with 126 on the ground and 164 through the air.