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WSN shuts out Cottage Hill 58-0

By Heather Stone
sports writer

The W.S. Neal Eagles pushed through adversity on the road Friday night to bring home a very one-sided win against the Cottage Hill Christian Academy Warriors in a contest that ended 58-0 for the Eagles. This was the Eagles’ first region win of the season.
Head coach Doug Hoehn was proud of the win.
“The kids played very well tonight,” he said. “We had no turnovers and very few penalties. We had nine kids in there playing that this was their first varsity start, and I’m proud of their effort tonight. I think they did a great job.”
With mere seconds left in the first quarter, Neal capitalized on an 11-play drive, covering 60 yards and ending with an 8-yard run into the end zone by senior Marquese Banks as the buzzer sounded to end the quarter. Senior Josiah Nettles carried the ball across the goal line to make good on the 2-point conversion, giving the Eagles an 8-0 lead.
It only took the Eagles three plays to score again on a 1-yard run by Nettles. Banks ran into the end zone for the two point conversion putting the Eagles ahead 16-0 with 8:57 in the second quarter.
The Warriors were able to gain their first first down of the ballgame on their next possession by faking a punt, but after three incomplete passes, they were forced to punt once again to the Eagles who took over on their own 7-yard line. Neal only needed six plays, ending with a 17-yard pass from senior Christian Purvis to freshman Quinton Samuels for another touchdown. Purvis then hit freshman Malcolm Hawthorne in the end zone for the two-point conversion, giving the Eagles a 24-0 lead with 4:18 left in the half. Both teams had one more possession in the half, but neither was able to score, so the Eagles headed into the locker room at halftime with a large lead.
Neal received the ball to start the half and after only three plays, Purvis scored with a three-yard run on a quarterback keeper. The conversion was no good, but the Eagles increased their lead to 30-0 with 11:27 on the clock in the third quarter.
Cottage Hill was unable to gain any ground on their next possession and saw Neal’s Samuels with a 46-yard punt return put the Eagles in scoring position once again. Purvis had an incomplete pass to junior Antwon Jones in the end zone and then on another keeper, ran the ball 24 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, giving the Eagles a 36-0 lead only four minutes into the second half.
The Warriors were unable to gain a first down on their next possession. After the punt, Banks carried the ball 42 yards down the field to Cottage Hill’s 20-yard line. Nettles was able to carry the ball the remaining 20 yards for another Eagle touchdown. Purvis hit Jones in the end zone for the two-point conversion, putting the Eagles ahead by 44-0 with 3:56 in the third quarter.
Despite a large number of players who had not seen much time on the field in a varsity football competition, coach Hoehn felt that his team did what they had been taught to do.
“We stayed with what we’ve always stayed with,” he said. “We just plugged the kids in that were next in line to play, and they responded well. I’m just proud of the kids. I really am. I think they showed a lot of class and character.”