WINNSBORO — Richard Winn Academy’s season came down to one game against Carolina Academy. The winner would clinch the fourth spot in this year’s SCISA playoffs.
“We knew we had to win to make it in the playoffs. We got together Saturday morning and talked about what plays they like to run, the fact that they were 95 percent run and 5 percent pass, and we just got to have the same kind of effort that we had Friday night against Andrew Jackson,” Coach Dan Dickerson said.
The two regional opponents were scheduled to meet earlier in the season, but the game was delayed until Monday afternoon. The game was played in Lake City and consisted of two 12-minute quarters.
The Eagles pounced on Carolina early, scoring on a 35-yard John Coleman run, just a minute and a half into the game. Gunnar Hensley hooked up with John Coleman on a 52-yard pass a couple of minutes later.
Hensley looked sharp in the playoff deciding game. He was 3-for-5 passing for 78 yards, one touchdown, and also put in 92 rushing yards, with a rushing touchdown.
Down 14-0, Carolina scored near the end of the first quarter, and converted the two-point conversion, but it would not be enough.
Hensley broke off a 61-yard rushing touchdown to damper the Bobcat’s spirit, and put them in a 17-point hole. Webb Yongue drove the stake in the Bobcats’ heart when he scored on a rush from 13 yards out.
Richard Winn’s offense was clicking far more than it was against Andrew Jackson. They shattered the Bobcats defense to the tune of 257 yards in just two quarters of play, including 179 rushing yards.
With the 31-16 victory, the Eagles clinched the fourth seed in the playoffs, and earned a first round meeting with Coastal Christian. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Mount Pleasant.
“Now it’s the play to you lose mindset from here on out, and we kind of treated that half of a game we played Monday like it was a playoff, and we tried to have a playoff kind of atmosphere as we went down to Lake City to play Carolina because whoever lost that was putting the gear away on Tuesday,” Dickerson said.
The Coastal Christian Cougars have been menacing this season, on their way to an 8-2 season. One of their two losses came against the Eagles last opponent, Carolina Academy.
Coastal Christian runs a zone-read option, bolstered by a speedy backfield, that consists of a quarterback and two running backs. Their offense is similar to the fast-paced attack the Eagles saw against Greenwood Christian.
“It comes down to where we’ve got to play very disciplined especially on the edges to make sure that we do what we’re supposed to do, that we can account for the diving quarterback and the pitch, that part of it can be tough,” Dickerson said on the match-up.
Timothy Wooten is a mass communications major at Winthrop University. He is from Winnsboro.