The G.W. Eagles showed no evidence of an emotional hangover, one week after a tough home loss to their arch-rivals.
Coach Nick Anderson’s squad stormed into Stuart, Virginia and scored on all five first-half possessions, en route to a dominating 54-14 win over the Patrick County Cougars. It came one week after a humbling 49-15 loss to E.C. Glass.
“Some heart-to-hearts were given. Some brutally honest comments were given,” Anderson said. “And the kids were very receptive. They want to be good.”
The Eagles wasted no time against the Cougars. They got the opening kickoff and ran the ball six times for 71 yards. The drive culminated with a 14-yard run by Wesley Graves to put the Eagles up 7-0. Graves added two more scores to put the Eagles up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The onslaught continued in the second quarter. Junior Zavion King took a short pass from Shakobe Hairston and broke two tackles, taking it to the house from 58 yards out to put the Eagles up 27-0. Junior tailback Willie Edmunds scored late in the first half to give the Eagles a 34-0 halftime lead.
Patrick County got the second-half kickoff and surprised the Eagles with a long pass. The 67 yard catch by Deshaun Penn gave the Cougars their first score of the night. But the Eagles answered on the ensuing kickoff. Sophomore Shyheim Watlington picked up a squib kick on the right side of the field, then ran hard to the left. He followed a wall of blockers 60 yards for his first special teams score of the year, putting the Eagles up 41-7.
The rest of the third quarter belonged to the Eagles. Graves and Edmunds each scored again. Patrick County scored a late fourth-quarter touchdown to give them their first double-digit scoring performance ever against the Eagles. This was the team’s seventh meeting. Patrick County had scored only one touchdown in the previous six meetings.
Graves’ four touchdowns give him 23 on the season. The all-time single-season GW record for touchdowns is 37, set by David Wilson in 2008. Graves ended up with 203 yards on only 11 carries. It was his third 200-yard game of the year, and the fifth of his career. It was the fourth game this year where he has scored four or more touchdowns.
As a team the Eagles ran for 401 yards, their second-highest total of the season. Edmunds had 93 yards on only seven carries. Hairston had 40 yards on three rushes. Shaun Watlington added 60 yards on only four carries.
Coach Anderson was pleased with both sides of the ball. “Just a good feeling to get back on the right side of the scoreboard,” he said.
The Eagles (4-2, 2-0) return home this week for a Piedmont District showdown against a resurgent Halifax County team. The Comets are 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the district.
Patrick Co.: 12
Patrick Co.: 37-111
Patrick Co.: 4-6-0
Patrick Co.: 103
Patrick Co.: 214
GW: Graves 11-203-4; Edmunds 7-93-2; Sn. Watlington 4-60-0; Hairston 3-40-0
Patrick Co.: Penn 13-46-1; Merriman 12-43-0
GW: Hairston 3-4-101-1-0
Patrick Co.: Sprowl 3-5-78-1-0
GW: King 2-71-0; Sy. Watlington 1-30-0
Patrick Co.: Penn 1-67-1