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War Eagles to Open Playoffs on Road After Senior Night Loss to Greenfield

Posted 10/30/18

ATWOOD (October 26) — The West Carroll War Eagles will travel to Memphis to begin their first postseason run since 2012. They finished third in Region 7-1A after falling to Greenfield 27-15 in …

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War Eagles to Open Playoffs on Road After Senior Night Loss to Greenfield

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ATWOOD (October 26) — The West Carroll War Eagles will travel to Memphis to begin their first postseason run since 2012. They finished third in Region 7-1A after falling to Greenfield 27-15 in Friday’s regular-season finale.

The Yellowjackets stormed out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the War Eagles rallied in the second to take a one-point lead just before the half. Greenfield regained the lead late in the third. Then, in the final minute of the game, West Carroll was moving down the field with an opportunity to win, but an untimely turnover resulted in a touchdown that sealed the win for the Yellowjackets.

It was a festive atmosphere in the stadium and in the parking lot before the game in spite of intermittent rain and chilly temperatures. Seniors football players, cross-country runners and band members were recognized on the field with parents and other family members, then West Carroll alumni participated in a tailgate party in the parking lot up until kickoff.

Senior football players honored were Hunter Wadley, Levi Hays, Kyler White, Darrell Williams, Devin Nash, Luke Blankenship, Blaine Howell, Blake Davidson, Trace Fuller, P.J. Odom, Shae Crocker and Armoni Bonds.

Senior cross-country runners honored were Malachi Allen, Shelby Browning, Jacob Taylor and Rebecca Winberry.

Senior band members honored were Taylor Morgan, Jayme Arnold, Maverick Morris, Anna Woodall, Heather Baugh, Jacob Mims, Tom Keele, Jacob Taylor and Rebecca Winberry.

The classes of 1986, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008 were each represented in the tailgate party with food, music and fun.

The rain reduced to a mist and tapered off early in the game. Greenfield received the opening kickoff, which sailed out of bounds to start the Yellowjackets at the 40. Grant Huffstetler ran for a short gain, then quarterback Nyrail Jackson kept for a long gain across midfield to the 34. War Eagle Luke Blankenship stopped Huffstetler for no gain, then Jackson kept to move the chains again. Next, Keylon Thomas was stopped at the line of scrimmage by Armoni Bonds. Jackson was nearly sacked on the next snap, but slipped free and scrambled for 13 yards to set up first-and-goal at the 4. Huffstetler was met at the line by Blankenship, then Jackson pressed inside for a couple of yards. On third-and-goal, Huffstetler broke through for the touchdown. Ryan Dunning kicked the extra point, and Greenfield led 7-0 with 7:28 to play in the opening frame.

The Yellowjackets’ first kickoff also went out of bounds to give the War Eagles good field position at the 40. The defense jumped offside on first down for a five-yard boost, and War Eagle Jarrius Weatherford ran for nine across midfield to move the chains. Weatherford repeated for five yards, then had another gain negated by a holding penalty. He lost a yard on the next play to bring up third-and-15. Quarterback Trace Fuller kept for eleven yards, then West Carroll went for it on fourth down. Jeremiah Bryant ran for the first down, but then fumbled the ball to Yellowjacket Seth Davidson.

Starting at the far 27, Thomas ran on the first play for a 73-yard touchdown. Dunning’s kick gave Greenfield a 14-0 lead with 4:43 to play in the first quarter.

The War Eagles started at their own 26 but went three-and-out, losing yards to a pair of holding penalties. A bad snap resulted in a low punt that was downed at the West Carroll 18.

Huffstetler started with a four-yard run, then Thomas carried for nine to set up first-and-goal at the 5. A false start moved the ball back to the 10, then Jackson kept for two yards. Greenfield was flagged for a hold on the next play to back up the line of scrimmage to the 18. Huffstetler gained five on second down to end the first quarter. On the first play of the second, Yellowjacket Kelly Ricketts fumbled but recovered at the 20. Dunning attempted a field goal on fourth down, but the kick sailed wide.

Taking over at the 20, Weatherford gained four, then Fuller kept for three. Fuller kept the next snap, breaking away for 30 yards. Weatherford ran for a short gain, then Fuller threw incomplete. Weatherford followed with an eight-yard run. On fourth-and-one, Fuller kept for a first down, then kept again for three. A false start cost five yards, but Bryant gained it back on the next carry. Weatherford gained eight to move the chains, then Fuller kept for five. Weatherford ran for six yards and a first-and-goal at the 8, then again for the touchdown. Devin Nash kicked the PAT, and the Greenfield lead was down to 14-7 with three and a half minutes until intermission.

A low, bouncing kick gave the Yellowjackets a start at the 43. Jackson fumbled briefly, then scrambled for a five-yard loss. He threw incomplete, then kept and lost four yards on a stop by Zach Perry and Darrell Williams. On fourth-and-19 from the 34, Greenfield lined up to punt, but the snap sailed over Dunning’s head. He scooped it up but was immediately swarmed by Nash and a host of War Eagles at the 21.

Taking over with just over two minutes to play in the half, Fuller ran for 13 on a keeper. Weatherford ran for five, then Fuller kept for a touchdown. He ran it in for two to give West Carroll a 15-14 lead with just over a minute on the clock.

Greenfield received the kick and ran two plays before halftime.

The War Eagles received the second-half kickoff, but a pair of penalties stifled the drive for a three-and-out. Nash’s punt was downed at the Yellowjacket 27.

Greenfield went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and Dunning’s punt was downed at the War Eagle 41.

West Carroll again went three-and-out, going for it on fourth but coming up just short.

The Yellowjackets took over on downs at the War Eagle 49. Huffstetler gained four, then Jackson kept for a first down. A personal foul penalty against West Carroll advanced the ball to the 14. Huffstetler ran twice for a net gain of one yard, then Jackson kept for nine. On first-and-goal at the 4, Jackson was stopped at the line by Garrett Brooks. Huffstetler scored on the next play. Dunning’s PAT was blocked, and Greenfield regained the lead 20-15 with 1:34 remaining in the third quarter.

The War Eagles suffered another three-and-out, and Nash’s punt was downed at the Yellowjacket 28.

Thomas gained four on the final play of the third, and Jackson kept for four on the first play of the final frame. Thomas ran for a first down at the 49, then Huffstetler crossed midfield to the other 49. Jackson kept twice, but gained just a yard total and Dunning punted to the West Carroll 31.

The War Eagles quickly faced fourth-and-one, but drew the Greenfield defense offside for a first down. Weatherford gained five, then fumbled on the next play. Yellowjacket Landon Brock recovered at the West Carroll 48.

Greenfield kept the ball on the ground, hoping to run down the clock. After one first down, it was quickly fourth-and-eight. Jackson kept, but was stopped just short of the first down by Fuller.

The War Eagles took over at their own 29 with just over three minutes to play, needing a touchdown to take the lead. Bryant ran for 12 to move the chains, then Fuller kept for no gain. He tossed to Shae Crocker for four yards, then Weatherford ran for five. On fourth-and-one, he gained another five for a fresh set of downs at the Greenfield 44 with 1:09 on the clock. Fuller threw to Perry for nine, then threw incomplete twice. West Carroll was called for holding and then for a false start to make it third-and-16 at midfield with 32 seconds to go. Bryant scrambled and made an off-balance throw, which was picked off by Yellowjacket Traon Watkins and run back for a touchdown. Dunning kicked the extra point, and Greenfield led 27-15 with 15 seconds remaining.

The War Eagles ran two plays before time expired.

Greenfield and West Carroll each finish the season with a 7-3 record. With a Region 7-1A record of 5-1, the Yellowjackets claim second place, while the War Eagles finish in third place at 4-2.

The Yellowjackets will host Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering (7-3); the War Eagles will travel to Memphis to face Hillcrest (5-5). Both games kick off Friday at 7 p.m.

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