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ATWOOD (October 12) — The West Carroll War Eagles suffered their first Region 7-1A loss Friday at the hands of the Lake County Falcons, 36-7. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, …
ATWOOD (October 12) — The West Carroll War Eagles suffered their first Region 7-1A loss Friday at the hands of the Lake County Falcons, 36-7. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, they are guaranteed one of four playoff slots, but which one is yet to be determined.
Greenfield (4-0) sits atop the region and Lake County (4-1) moves to second with Friday’s win. West Carroll (3-1) is currently in third, but could still end up anywhere in the top four. Friday, the War Eagles will host the South Fulton Red Devils (2-2) and can lock up at least third place with a win. Dresden (1-3), already having lost to both West Carroll and South Fulton, can’t move above the War Eagles, but could earn the fourth playoff spot with two wins combined with two Red Devil losses.
West Carroll’s lone path to the region title is for Greenfield to beat Lake County then fall to the War Eagles. If Lake County defeats Greenfield, the Falcons will be region champions and Greenfield and West Carroll will play for runner-up (and a home playoff game), assuming the War Eagles beat the Red Devils.
The War Eagles received Friday’s opening kickoff and started at their own 19. P.J. Odom ran twice for a total of eleven yards and a first down. Quarterback Trace Fuller then lost yards on consecutive keeps. On third-and-long, Jeremiah Bryant was stopped in the backfield for another loss, and Devin Nash punted.
Lake County started near midfield. Dezmon Johnson ran twice for two yards each, stopped by War Eagles Darrell Williams and Armoni Bonds. Quarterback Tanner Snyder kept the next snap for a 49-yard touchdown. West Carroll blocked the point-after attempt, and the Falcons led 6-0 with 7:38 remaining in the first quarter.
A short kick allowed the War Eagles to start at their own 44. Jarrius Weatherford gained two yards, then Fuller kept for just enough to move the chains. Weatherford was stopped at the line of scrimmage, then Fuller threw incomplete. Lake County jumped offside to make it third-and-five, then Fuller threw to Bryant for a 21-yard gain. Odom ran ten yards to set up first-and-goal at the 8, then made a short gain on two consecutive carries. Fuller kept on third down for a loss of a yard. Going for it on fourth down, Fuller was forced out of the pocket and scrambled toward the sideline. Under heavy pressure, he tossed it to the back corner of the end zone, where Blaine Howell made a leaping catch for the touchdown. Nash nailed the PAT, and the War Eagles led 7-6 with three minutes left in the opening frame.
On the ensuing kickoff, Falcon Larry Tubbs let the ball get past him, but recovered for a big return to the West Carroll 38. War Eagle Zach Perry stopped Johnson for a three-yard loss. Snyder kept for a gain of six, then Johnson ran for two consecutive first downs into the red zone as the first quarter ended. Snyder threw incomplete to start the second, then Lake County was flagged for a false start. On third-and-long, Snyder’s pass was nearly picked off by Shae Crocker, and he threw incomplete again on fourth down.
The War Eagle offense couldn’t capitalize on the big defensive stop, going three-and-out. Nash’s punt was downed at the West Carroll 47.
Tubbs moved the chains on two carries, then Johnson gained nine. Snyder kept for another first down, then Tubbs gained six down to the 13. Snyder took it in on the next snap. The QB kept again for the two-point conversion, and Lake County took a 14-7 lead with seven minutes to play in the half.
The Falcon kickoff went out of bounds to give West Carroll the ball at the 35. A false start stifled the drive, and it was quickly third-and-16. Fuller completed a pass to Jack Barrow just short of the first-down marker, and Bryant was stopped for a loss to turn the ball over on downs in War Eagle territory.
The West Carroll defense gained some confidence by forcing a three-and-out. Lake County’s punt went out of bounds at the 5.
The bad field position turned into disaster as Fuller fumbled on the first snap and the Falcons recovered at the 2.
The War Eagle defense again faced a daunting situation. Blake Davidson stopped Johnson for no gain, then a host of defenders pushed Snyder back for a short loss. Nash took down Johnson at the 9 to force fourth down, and Snyder threw incomplete under pressure from Hunter Wadley.
With under a minute to play in the half, Fuller took a knee and West Carroll was content to go to the locker room down one score with two huge defensive stops to build on.
Johnson received the second-half kick for Lake County and made a solid return to the Falcon 43. Tubbs crossed midfield for a first down, then Johnson gained seven. He followed with a 39-yard touchdown. Snyder kept again for two points, and the Falcons led 22-7 early in the third.
The War Eagles went three-and-out again, and Nash’s punt went out of bounds at the Lake County 40.
The Falcons ate up the majority of the third quarter with a 14-play drive including four first downs and one fourth-down conversion, capped by a one-yard touchdown by Johnson. The PAT attempt was no good, but the Lake County lead increased to 28-7.
The Falcon kickoff went out of bounds again, and Bryant gained nine as the quarter ended. He carried for a first down to start he final frame, but a holding penalty negated the play. Two power runs by Weatherford made it fourth-and-one, but he was stopped short on the next try.
Lake County stuck with the game plan and wasted clock with the ground attack. After three first downs, Johnson scored from five yards out. Campbell Puckett added two points, and the Falcons led 36-7 with just four minutes to play.
The ensuing kick went into the end zone for a touchback. Fuller found Barrow for 21 yards, then Weatherford had a run spoiled by a penalty. Fuller threw four straight passes, completing two to Bryant but short of a first down.
Lake County took over and Snyder knelt three times to exhaust the clock on the 36-7 victory.