SUMMERTON — Richard Winn overcame a 26-20 halftime deficit to the Clarendon Hall Saints on Friday to tie the game at 34-34 heading into the final quarter, but that effort was not enough to the the Eagles into the win column.
The play that got the Eagles back into a whole new ball game was a 75-yard fumble return by junior Wyatt Adams.
Coach Dan Dickerson said his Eagles did a great job of stringing out the running play and that one of the players got a hand on the ball and knocked it loose.
Adams alertly scooped it up on the 25-yard line and raced to the end zone. A turnover would put this one out of reach for the Eagles in the fourth quarter.
Clarendon Hall regained the lead on a four-yard run and then the Saints extended the lead to two scores after a Matt Taylor interception gave them a short field with which to work.
That drive began at the Eagle one-yard line and ended with the only interception Taylor threw all night. For the game he finished 10-16 for 177 yards and two touchdown passes to Mitchell Gibbons.
“Heading into our homecoming game, I am excited that Matt threw the ball extremely well,” Dickerson said. “This shows other teams we are two-dimensional since we could hit passes off those play action fakes.”
Dickerson pointed out Conrad Sharpe’s clutch catch on third down to keep a drive alive as more highlight reel material that will make teams think twice about crowding the line of scrimmage to defend the Eagle’s triple option attack.
He said the Clarendon Hall Saints did not sustain many drives against the Eagles but they had the penchant for the big play. The Saints first score came on a 60-yard punt return. Three of the next four Saint touchdowns were over 40 yards, highlighted by a 74-yard run and a 64-yard run.
Clarendon Hall also benefited from some bounces, recovering four of its five fumbles on the night. Offensively, the Saints had a zone-read type option play that was their bread and butter. Either the quarterback or a back set into motion would run the ball. For the game Clarendon Hall attempted just seven passes, completing two for 33 yards and one interception.
Dickerson said his team was in good condition, noting they had few cramps this season but that Clarendon Hall just had more fresh bodies to send into the game throughout. Dickerson estimated 90 percent of the Clarendon Hall male students play football.
“We are still working on our containment (of the option and running game) and that is an ongoing process,” he said.
Statistical leaders for the Eagles included John Coleman with 18 rushes for 131 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 25 yards; Mitchell Gibbons with four catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns; Austin Knox with 16 carries for 51 yards and two catches for 25 yards; Webb Yongue with a catch for 25 yards and Conrad Sharpe with two catches for 32 yards.
The RWA homecoming game against Myrtle Beach kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday night.