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ATWOOD (October 18) — The West Carroll War Eagles celebrated Homecoming Thursday with a dominant region win over the South Fulton Red Devils, 42-8, highlighting their offensive versatility and …
ATWOOD (October 18) — The West Carroll War Eagles celebrated Homecoming Thursday with a dominant region win over the South Fulton Red Devils, 42-8, highlighting their offensive versatility and defensive resilience.
It was a bounce-back win for the team following a devastating blow last week when the visiting Lake County Falcons handed the War Eagles their first Region 7-1A loss and just their second loss on the waning season.
With Thursday’s win, West Carroll is still in position to host a postseason game when the playoffs begin in two weeks. Any hopes of winning the region championship were dashed the next evening when the Falcons defeated Greenfield to clinch the title, but the War Eagles will host the Yellowjackets Friday to determine the region runner-up. The winner will host the playoff opener, while the loser will travel.
South Fulton won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Red Devil Dalton Gray picked up the kick and was stopped at the 26 by War Eagle Jacob Blankenship. South Fulton’s big running back Greg Davis ran for 18 on first down, but was stopped after just three yards on the next snap. Two plays later, the Red Devils set up to punt from midfield, but Gray instead ran for just enough to move the chains. The West Carroll defense stifled the drive there, and on third-and-nine, quarterback Bryce McFarland’s pass was intercepted by War Eagle Shae Crocker.
From the War Eagle 27, Jeremiah Bryant ran for nine, then P.J. Odom picked up the first down. Bryant then made a huge gain down to the 20, but a holding penalty set West Carroll back at midfield. Jarrius Weatherford responded with a 50-yard touchdown run. Devin Nash kicked the PAT, and the War Eagles had an early 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing kick, Gray made a good return into West Carroll territory. A War Eagle defender jumped offside on first down, then Davis made the short gain for a first down. From there, the War Eagles yielded just half a yard on three downs. McFarland threw to Gray on fourth down, but the receiver was stopped short of the first-down marker by Odom and Kyler White.
Taking over at their own 31, the War Eagles made two consecutive first downs on runs by quarterback Trace Fuller and then Odom. Fuller then threw to Crocker for seven, but his next pass was picked off by Red Devil Caleb Little.
South Fulton kept the ball on the ground for three plays to earn a first down, then Davis ran for seven on the last play of the opening frame. West Carroll began the second with an offside penalty to give the Red Devils another first down. McFarland threw to Brock Brown for 35 yards and a first-and-goal at the 9. A hold on the next play moved the ball back to the 19, and three consecutive incomplete passes turned the ball over on downs.
Fuller started with a pass to Crocker for a solid gain, but West Carroll was flagged for holding and moved back to the 9. Weatherford again stepped up after the penalty and ran for 68 yards. Fuller followed with a keeper for a 23-yard touchdown. South Fulton was called for a personal foul, which was enforced on the ensuing kickoff. Nash added the point-after, and the War Eagle lead was 14-0 with just over nine minutes remaining in the first half.
Kicking from the 50 due to the previous penalty, Nash attempted the onside kick. The ball took a few extra bounces, and the Red Devils dove on it at the 28. An illegal shift penalty cost South Fulton five more yards, and on the first snap, War Eagle Zach Perry forced a fumble by Davis. White recovered for West Carroll.
With a two-score lead and a short field, the War Eagles experimented. A delayed toss went to Nash, who threw across to Bryant for a 29-yard score. Nash split the uprights, and the score was quickly up to 21-0.
The Red Devils started their next drive at the 34. Davis ran twice to move the chains, then Little gained five. West Carroll was flagged for a personal foul on the next play to give South Fulton another first down. Davis was held to three yards on two runs, then McFarland threw incomplete. On fourth down, Gray threw to Brown, and another personal foul call moved the ball up to the 7 for first-and-goal. Davis took it in from there, and Brown went in for two points to cut the War Eagle lead to 21-8 with 5:39 to go before intermission.
South Fulton went for broke with an onside attempt, and Little managed to recover the ball. Davis powered for a couple of first downs, but then on third-and-inches, Brown fumbled the ball away to War Eagle Cody Wildridge.
Facing another long field, Weatherford ran 29 yards from the 12 to the 41, then crossed midfield to the 34 on a 25-yard carry. Odom lost a yard, the Fuller kept for 16. Bryant gained seven down to the 12, but a holding penalty on the next play moved the War Eagles back to the 24. Fuller threw incomplete, then Odom ran for just enough to set up first-and-goal at the 9 with 16.4 seconds on the clock. Yet another holding call moved the ball back to the 25. Bryant gained 12 and ran out of bounds to stop the clock with just a second remaining. Reversing their roles on the previous touchdown, Bryant threw to Nash in the end zone as time expired. The PAT gave West Carroll a 28-8 lead at the half.
During halftime, West Carroll students of all grades with perfect attendance lined the field for recognition of the achievement.
The War Eagles received the second-half kick and started at the 40. Odom ran 22 yards for a first down, then Fuller kept for a short gain. Bryant took a direct snap for 15 yards down to the 21, then Weatherford matched him to the 6. Weatherford then repeated for the six-yard touchdown. Nash missed the point-after, and West Carroll led 34-8 early in the third.
The Red Devils ran down the third-quarter clock with a long drive, including five first downs. Three plays into the final frame, South Fulton failed to convert on fourth-and-long at the War Eagle 12.
West Carroll marched down the field again despite two more holding penalties. Bryant threw to Crocker for 54 yards for a first down at the 11, but then threw an interception at the goal line.
The Red Devils managed just one first down and were forced to punt.
West Carroll started at the 32, but three consecutive penalties pushed the line of scrimmage back to the 40. War Eagle Devon Rader took it from there to paydirt. Fuller threw to Blaine Howell for two points, and the lead was 42-8 with just under three minutes remaining in the contest.
Davis pounded the ball, and South Fulton managed a pair of first downs before time expired.
The War Eagles outgained the Red Devils 558 yards to 271 in total offense, including 450 yards on the ground.
Jarrius Weatherford led the West Carroll offense with 200 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns. Jeremiah Bryant had five carries for 72 yards. P.J. Odom ran five times for 57, and Trace Fuller rushed for 65 yards on four keepers with one touchdown. Devon Rader had two carries late in the game for 56 yards and one touchdown.
Red Devil Greg Davis rushed for 133 yards on 30 carries.
Three War Eagles completed passes in the contest. Starting quarterback Trace Fuller was one-for-three for six yards with an interception. Jeremiah Bryant was three-for-three for 73 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Devin Nash completed his only attempt for a 29-yard touchdown.
West Carroll improves to 7-2 (4-1) and will host Greenfield (6-4, 4-2) Friday to wrap up the regular season. Kickoff is 7 p.m.