WSN gets blanked Friday against CC
BY HEATHER STONE
The W. S. Neal Eagles suffered a difficult 24-0 loss Friday night on the road in their first region game against Clarke County High School. This drops Neal to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in region play.
Despite fighting until the very end, the Eagles were unable to beat the Bulldogs, who are a big, fast team with talented players. “The kids played hard. That was a very athletic bunch we played tonight. They have a lot of speed and a lot of good size,” head coach Doug Hoehn said. “[Clarke County’s] depth really helped them out. They didn’t have any kids playing both ways, and we have a large number of kids playing both ways, and at the end of the game we kind of wore down a little bit.” He also recognized the special talent the Clarke County team possessed. “They have very good wide receivers. Skillwise, I don’t think we’re going to see skill players as talented as their kids. We’re certainly going to see some very good teams on our schedule coming up, but just those individual skill players, I don’t know if anyone else will have kids as talented as that,” said Hoehn.
The Clarke County Bulldogs held the Eagles to 141 total yards of offense, with 125 yards coming on the ground and 16 yards in the air. The Bulldogs had 280 yards of total offense, gaining 72 yards rushing and 208 yards passing.
According to Hoehn, Neal’s defense did a good job, with a few critical mistakes. “We tackle better than we tackled tonight, and we tackled really well most of the time, but sometimes we didn’t, and those plays hurt us. We learned how much we have to improve.”
Neal moved the ball 60 yards in the first half, all rushing, while Clarke County rushed for 62 yards and completed passes for 70 yards before the end of the second quarter.
In the second half the Eagles rushed for 65 yards and passed for 16. The Neal defense held Clarke County to only 10 yards rushing, but the Bulldogs were able to rack up passing completions totaling 208 yards.
Junior Quenton Samuel led Neal’s rushing game with a total of 52 yards on 12 carries. Senior Devontaye Taylor had 35 yards rushing, while Junior Lane Chavers completed two passes to Malcolm Hawthorne for a total of 16 yards.
The Bulldogs scored on their first possession with a 5-yard touchdown run by Senior Brandon Hollins. Their second touchdown came with 7:46 on the clock in the third quarter by way of a 29-yard pass from number 3 (no name in roster) to Senior Jacorey Snell. With only two minutes ticked off the clock in the 4th quarter, Xavier Burden, a senior, ran a 10-yard touchdown over the goal line. The Bulldogs scored once more when Hollins intercepted a pass and ran it back for a 54-yard touchdown.
The Eagles are working to improve every week, and can learn from this tough loss, said Hoehn. “We’re a relatively young team, and our goal coming into the season was to improve every week, and we just have to let this one go. I think we’re going to be a better football team every week as the season goes on. That was a tough matchup for us tonight, and we’ll learn from it and go on. We’re not going to hang our heads down, “ Hoehn said.