WSN to travel to Northside in round 1
By Adam Robinson
Following their one-point overtime loss to rival T.R. Miller Friday night, the W.S. Neal Eagles will travel to Northside Friday for round one of the state playoffs.
WSN and Northside have never faced off against each other. Northside is 8-2 overall and finished 5-1 in region play. Northside defeated Akron 31-6 this past week.
WSN is 15-20 overall in the playoffs and 9-11 in first round games. WSN’s last first round win was in 2012 over Slocomb and last won a road game in the first round in 2006 against Jemison by a score of 35-21.
WSN head coach Doug Hoehn said the Rams are a big and physical team.
“They are very basic at what they do, but they are very good at what they do,” he said. “They line up and run it right at you. We have to figure out a way to stop it.”
Hoehn said the Rams have some big linemen and two good backs.
“They have two good running backs in No. 22 Alonzo Travis and No. 24 Alexander Maluda,” he said. “They don’t throw the ball a lot and they maybe won’t throw it all or but maybe a couple of times. They just like to run straight at you and are very big and physical. We just have to stop it. Defensively they play very sound. They know their assignments and are well-coached on that side of the ball.”
This past Friday against TRM, WSN scored 10 points off four of the Tigers’ turnovers.
Hoehn said his team has to do a better job of that.
“What we preach around here is if a team is going to turn the ball over, you have to convert points from it every time. That is our goal. We prefer touchdowns to field goals, but at least a field goal every time. Friday night, we made 10 points off four turnovers. I would have liked more.”
Hoehn said on the offensive side of the balls for his Eagles, they cannot turn the ball over.
“We only had two turnovers and they turned it into seven points,” he said. “So you look at that as both defenses played great. Both teams played with a lot of class. We were both very prepared against each other, but we made two turnovers and they got 7 points. We got four of theirs and only made 10 points. If we could have put points on the board and not made our turnovers, it would have made a difference.”
Another point Hoehn made from Friday that his team will have to do better on in the playoffs is fielding punts.
“We have to field our punts. That is a big part of the game,” he said. “You cannot let the ball hit the turf and roll. That changes field position. We have to not turn the ball over and limit our penalties. If they turn the ball over, we need to get some points off of it.”
Out of 60 football teams in class 4A, WSN’s offense ranks No. 11 in the state with 331 points scored in nine games for an average of 36.8.
Northside ranks 12th with 356 points scored for an average of 35.6.
In scoring defense, WSN is No. 10 in the state after allowing 143 points so far this season in nine games for an average of 15.9. Northside ranks No. 28 after allowing 242 points for an average of 24.2.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Northside.
Down 17-16 in overtime, T.R. Miller’s Chardian Johnson scored a two-point conversion for the Tigers to give TRM an 18-17... read more