Full game story: WSN 42, Millry 12
BY HEATHER STONE
The W.S. Neal Eagles ended their season with a big win at home against Millry Friday night outscoring the Wildcats 42-12. The Eagles got off to a quick start on the first drive of the game with a 9-yard run by sophomore Quenton Samuels. Junior Trey Taylor’s PAT was good, giving Neal an early 7-0 lead with just a minute and a half off the clock.
Millry answered with a 10-play drive that ended in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Treveonte Turner to Josh Whigham, but Neal was able to block the PAT and keep the lead 7-6. Neither team was able to score again in the first quarter, though Neal senior Michael Williams did snag an interception with 1:37 left in the quarter. Millry was forced to punt to begin the second quarter, and Neal took over on their own 46-yard line.
Eight plays later, sophomore Malcolm Hawthorne sprinted 9 yards across the goal line, followed by a good PAT by Taylor, which put the Eagles up 14-6 over the Wildcats. Both teams had two more possessions in the half, but were unable to score.
Millry came out strong in the second half, needing only two plays to score with a 55-yard run by Turner. The Wildcats attempted a two-point conversion, but were unsuccessful, so with 11:11 on the clock in the third quarter, Millry closed the gap to 14-12.
The Eagles answered with a 59-yard touchdown run by Samuels, widening their lead to 20-12 with 10:53 left in the third quarter. Millry was unable to gain a first down on their next possession and had to punt the ball. Neal used a 6-play drive to get into position for Hawthorne’s 15-yard dash into the end zone. Junior Miles Powell punched in the two-point conversion to put the Eagles up 28-12 with 5:12 on the clock in the third quarter. On Millry’s next possession, they turned to ball over on downs at Neal’s 27-yard line.
The Eagles drove down the field once again, ending with a two-yard touchdown run by Hawthorne and a good PAT by Taylor to increase their lead to 35-12 with 9:12 left in the fourth quarter.
Millry started a successful drive down the field, only to have it interrupted when junior TyAnthony Alexander grabbed an interception and ran the ball back to Millry’s 19-yard line, setting up a 19-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Lane Chavers to Trey Taylor.
Taylor’s PAT was good, pushing the score to 42-12, with 7:26 left in the game. This would be the final score of the game as they Eagles claimed the 30-point win to end their three-game losing streak. Each team would take possession of the ball twice more, but neither would be able to change the scoreboard, though the Eagles did rack up one more interception in the final seconds of the game, when Miles Powell snatched a Millry pass out of the air and ran it back for about 20 yards.
The clock would run out before the Eagles could turn that into a score, but Neal would end the game with a 30-point lead over their opponents. Neal’s defense held Millry to 173 total yards of offense: 134 rushing and 39 passing. The Eagle offense finished with 311 total yards on the books.
Nineteen of those yards came in the form of a touchdown pass from Lane Chavers to Trey Taylor. All other yards were rushing. Quenton Samuels led the offense with 158 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 21 carries. Malcolm Hawthorne finished with 94 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns on 12 carries. Senior Trevor Burns added 33 yards on 4 carries, and senior Zach Haveard had 10 yards on 3 carries.
Lane Chavers was one-for-two passing, with 19 yards and one touchdown. Trey Taylor had 19 yards receiving and one touchdown.
“We had a lot of adversity this year, but it’s nice to finish with a win,” said head coach Doug Hoehn. “The last three or four games we were kind of thinking, ‘Who’s going to go down next?’ so this gives us some momentum going into winter workouts. I’m glad they got this win. Injuries are a part of the game of football, but I thought our kids handled it well. I’m glad the seniors got this last win. I’m happy for the students, the band, the cheerleaders, and the community that has come out and supported us strongly this year. That means a lot to the kids, it really does. Our kids really appreciate that.” When asked about what made the difference in the last few games, Hoehn replied, “In the last few games, the injuries really took a toll on us. It really showed up in the third and fourth quarters, not being able to get kids off the field. You know, we’ve had eight kids get injured this year, so for six of the ten games this year, we’ve been without six kids, different kids in different games, so we just challenged the kids all week. We’ve been asking kids to play different positions now because of the injuries, and they’re not complaining. They’re excited about it. They’re working hard. Millry’s a much, much improved team this year. Their coach had their kids ready to play, so we had to play hard and earn everything we got tonight.
Reflecting on this years’ team Hoehn said, “Was it the year we were looking for coming in? No, but at the same time, injuries are part of it. I thought our kids handled it well. We didn’t fold up tent. We played hard every play, every game, and it is what it is. “Going back and looking at the year and the expectations we had going in, a few things stood true. Number one, their attitude, it was great all year. Two, they did everything we asked them to do. Number three, they played with class every game, and four, they never gave up. They played hard every play. Injuries aren’t something you can predict. It’s just part of football. You can’t complain about it. You’ve just got to suit up and play, and our kids did. I’m just proud of them.”
With the win, W.S. Neal ended their 2013 season with a 5-5 record.
MHS – 6 0 6 0 – 12
WSN – 7 7 14 14 – 42
WSN – Samuels 9-yard run (Taylor kick good)
MHS – Turner to Whigham 8-yard pass (kick failed)
WSN – Hawthorne 9-yard run (Taylor kick good)
MHS – Turner 55-yard run (conversion failed)
WSN – Samuels 49-yard run ((kick failed)
WSN – Hawthorne 15-yard run (Powell conversion run good)
WSN – Hawthorne 2-yard run (Taylor kick good)
WSN – Chavers to Taylor 19-yard pass (Taylor kick good)