WSN and Bayside to tangle Friday in key region game
If the W.S. Neal Eagle football team wants to keep up their run of making the state playoffs and possibly host a first round game, the Eagles will have come away with a win this Friday at home when they take on the Bayside Academy Admirals.
W.S. Neal is currently 5-1 overall and 3-1 in region play after taking down Excel last week on the road 44-18. Bayside is 3-3 overall and 3-1 in region play after taking down Straughn last week at home 27-17.
Currently, W.S. Neal, Straughn and Bayside are all 3-1 in region play. Straughn is playing Excel Friday night. W.S. Neal and the Admirals of Bayside have never met on the football field.
W.S. Neal head coach Doug Hoehn said for his Eagles to have a chance to defeat Bayside Friday, they cannot play like they did against Excel Friday and make turnovers.
“I thought we started the game well,” Hoehn said. “They had a deep pass on us at the beginning of the game to score us. We responded well after that. We scored 22 points in the first quarter and played solid defense. Then we did not have a very good second quarter. We turned the ball over four times and that is something we have not done all year and it lead to 12 of their points.”
Hoehn said he and his team went in at halftime leading 22-18 and he talked to his team about finishing football games.
“I told them to play hard every play,” Hoehn said. “We need to play every play regardless of the score. We came out in the second half and responded. I think one reason we played well in the second half was because of our crowd. It was like a home game. Our side was packed with our crowd being in the game every single play. Between our crowd, our cheerleaders and our band, they really encouraged our kids from the moment they walked on the field in the second half for warm-ups. We played a solid second half of football.”
Hoehn said Josiah Nettles had a good game with 137 yards and one touchdown and Dylan Godwin had 141 yards rushing with one touchdown.
“On defense, Damion Williams played strong,” Hoehn said. “Cam Blackman played a good game and Nettles played a good game. We had 549 yards rushing and had no punts. We made six turnovers in the game. The breakdown was in the second quarter. Anytime you can make six turnovers and win 44-18 on the road, we will take it. I just hope the kids learned a lesson from that second quarter.”
As for Bayside this week, Hoehn said they are a really good football team.
“They have a lot of team speed,” Hoehn said. “They understand the schemes they are trying to run on offense. They do a good job with their Wing-T offense. There are rules with that offense and they know all the rules. They follow those rules very well. They are going to have the best quarterback we have faced all year. On defense, they play hard and run to the ball very well. They have an outstanding kicking game.”
W.S. Neal is currently 15th in the state between AISA and AHSAA schools in scoring averages. The Eagles are averaging 44.2 points a game this season.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at W.S. Neal Stadium on the campus of W.S. Neal in East Brewton.
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