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Eagles football finds its footing in 26-23 victory

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 9:53 am

Shane McNeil blocks for James Kelly.

Football is back in Montross and W&L opened their season with plenty of action and excitement. In a dramatic overtime 26-23 victory over Middlesex, the Varsity team proved they have the heart and talent needed for true Eagle football. Classes may not start until September, but the W&L Eagles are ready and striding forward.

It took the first half of the game for W&L to find their footing. Losing 10-0 at halftime, new Head Coach, Joe Taylor, must have worked his magic in the huddle. Taylor, a 2004 graduate and W&L Hall of Fame star, returns to his high school alma mater after a highly successful football career for the Naval Academy. He shared his winning ways Friday night.

W&L came out strong in the third quarter. Senior quarterback Carson Bell connected with Junior J.J. McNeil for 2 touchdown passes to tie the game at 13. Middlesex answered with their own TD to retake the lead. Bell answered with a 20 yard rush into the end zone to bring on overtime.

In OT, Middlesex scored first with a field goal, but that did not rattle the conviction of the Eagles. Coached well and keeping their form, W&L worked it out. Bell again found an opening and ran for the game winning touchdown. Eagles win 26-23 in what can only be described as a great game.

Carson Bell moved the ball well for his team completing 19 out of 28 passes for 220 yards in the air including 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. On the ground Bell ran 8 times for 77 yards and 2 TD’s. James Kelly ran the ball for 51 yards in 16 attempts.

JJ McNeil had 8 catches for 138 yards and 2 TD’s. Shane McNeil caught 4 for 51 yards, Carl Baylor snagged 3 for 18 and Garret Oliff caught 2 for 13 yards.
Defensively, the team was well spread with 13 players earning at least 2 tackles. Craig McIntosh and Garret Oliff led with 4 tackles each. RaQuan Dameron and JJ McNeil both caught interceptions.

W&L travels to Mathews on Thursday. The next home game is “The Border Brawl” on September 15. Come and cheer our Eagles as they take on neighboring Rappahannock Raiders.