Eagles shut out Eastern Shore visitors
The W&L Eagles notched their second win of the season Friday night bumping off the visiting Nandua Warriors, 23-0.
Kwame Gray led the way, scoring all three Eagle touchdowns.
Washington & Lee’s DJ Weldon avoids a defender in the team’s recent 23-0 win over Nandua. (Photo by Win Sisson)
“We played a pretty good football game, except for the penalties,” said head coach Antron Yates. He said the Eagles need to focus on playing the game and not be distracted by issues that might take away from that focus such as talkative opponents. “We have worked on being a disciplined team, but tonight we got into a yacking game, and we need to work on it,” Yates added.
Such distractions can sometimes make the difference in a game, but Friday night, W&L overcame. “We got a great performance from our offense. We played a good defensive game, and we got a good performance from our special teams. I was really proud of our defense. They are the cornerstone of our team,” Yates said.
Repeatedly through the night the defense shut down the Nandua attack. The Warriors struggled to get a running game going and their ball carriers spent most of the game draped in the colors of W&L blue and gold. One of the biggest plays of the night came when the Eagle defense trapped Nandua in its own end zone to register a safety. “The defense did a great job of bailing out the offense. The offense moved the ball well, but penalties shot us in the foot,” Yates said.
W&L scored late in the first quarter on a three-yard run by Gray. Gray struck again in the middle of the second quarter finding a seam in the Warrior defense and racing 55 yards to the end zone. In the third quarter, Gray took a kickoff from the W&L 35 yard line and rolled 65 yards for another Eagle touchdown. Besides the safety, W&L got three more points from place kicker Alex Lane, who went three for three on point after touchdown attempts.
Gray was the Eagles’ leading rusher rolling up 107 yards on 11 carries. Dexter Thompson also had a good night, compiling 91 yards on 19 carries. D.J. Weldon had 27 yards on seven carries.
Eagles quarterback Chris Graham went two of five on the night, connecting with Gray for 13 yards on the longest pass play. Graham had one interception.
Nandua Coach Christopher Miles complimented the Eagles saying his own team was hampered by an inability to adjust quickly. Even before the game started the Warriors faced problems as traffic coming from the Eastern Shore delayed their arrival. “We had a lot of small mistakes and those can lead to big problems,” he said.
W&L, 2-1, entertains King William in Montross next Friday at 7 pm. MaxPreps.com ranks the Cavaliers eighth in the state among Group A Division 2 schools. W&L is ranked 23rd. The Cavaliers ‘top player is Freeman McPhearson, who quarterbacks, sometimes serves as a receiver, has various defensive duties and handles some kicking duties. King William has a well-conditioned team and a strong offensive line. If the speedy W&L jam up the King William passing game, look for McPhearson on a QB keeper up the middle. The Cavaliers have talent and speed including the running abilities of Kevin Waller, however the team struggled against the only other Northern Neck District team it has faced this season, Essex. The Trojans defeated King William 41-26 on Sept 7.