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Washington & Lee overpowers Randolph-Henry

On Saturday afternoon, in Montross, the Washington & Lee Eagles (7-1, 10-1) continued their journey into post-season play by dispensing of the visiting Randolph-Henry Statesmen (3-4, 4-7) 34-13. Washington & Lee (#2 seed) will host Manassas Park (5-2, 6-3) this Friday, at 7 p.m.

The first quarter was a scoreless defensive stalemate. On the Eagles opening drive, Statesmen defensive back Khari Jenkins intercepted a pass thrown by Josh Fones. With field position, in the middle of the field, the

Statesmen’s offense sputtered. After the Statesmen lost possession on downs, the Eagles offense also failed to produce. The ensuing drives from both teams resulted in punts, and a lackluster first quarter.

In the second quarter, life in the bleachers became interesting as the Statemens cheering section came to their feet when quarterback Dontae Eubanks culminated a 72-yard scoring drive with a 10-yard run for a touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion, the Statesmen led, 6-0.

With momentum on the side of the Statesmen, the Eagles quickly answered back. After a cutback in the middle of the field, Otho Gaskins promptly took the kickoff return up the sidelines for an 80-yard touchdown. After the point after, the Eagles led 7-6.

Later in the second quarter, on a punt return, Kwame Gray extended the Eagles lead to 14-6 on a 55-yard touchdown punt return.

In the remaining minutes of the half, the Statesmen got a second life, as Victor Coles recovered a fumble on the Eagle 26-yard line. The Statesmen’s scoring hopes were short lived as Statemen running back Quincy Thompson fumbled the ball back into the hands of Washington & Lee linebacker Davon Payton.

Within two minutes, the Eagles converted the Statemen turnover into another score, as Fones connected with Grady Boswell for a 19-yard touchdown. After a blocked extra point, the Eagles led 2-6.

Shortly before halftime, the Statesmen suffered another setback, when their starting quarterback, Eubanks went down for the rest of the game with a leg injury.

At the start of the third quarter, the Statesmen defense entered the field chanting, ‘Wake up, it ain’t over,” while the Eagles replied with “Go hard or go home.” As fate would have it, the Statesmen mantra had no impact on the Eagles offensive game plan. On the Eagles first possession of the second half, on third down and 20, Josh Fones completed a 37-yard touchdown pass to Marquis James. The score and extra point extended the Eagle to 27-6. James would later finish the game with 19 carries for 121 yards.

In a test of wills, on the following kick-off, Kevin McCargo’s 80-yard touchdown return gave the Statesmen hope. After the two-point conversion, the Eagles lead was cut to 13 points (27-14).

With a little over four minutes left to play in the third quarter, on fourth down and five yards to go for a first down, while on the Eagles 14-yard line, D.A. Wilson intercepted a Statesmen pass, stopping a potential score.
Later in the fourth quarter, after a series of punts from both teams, the game took on different twist as Eagle defensive back Kevin Fauntleroy intercepted a Statesmen pass, shutting down any possible rally for the Statesmen.

With 1:44 left in the game, on third and nine, James scored from 52 yards out for the game’s final touchdown.

Leonard Banks
Sports Editor

 

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