The West Carroll War Eagles handily defeated the Houston County Irish 41-16 with strong performances on offense and defense during a Thursday night non-region home game in Atwood.
After a scoreless first quarter for both teams, the War Eagles made good on their first possession of the second quarter. A big 40-yard first-down carry by Malik Lee helped to set up the 10-yard scoring run by Tyler Shaddon. Quarterback Xander Moon connected with Jack Barrow for two, and West Carroll was off to an 8-0 lead.
But the Irish evened it up on their next possession, capping off an eight-play drive with a 30-yard keeper by Houston County’s quarterback. The following conversion locked it up 8-8 midway through the second.
Moon ran it into the end zone during West Carroll’s next turn on offense, but it was called back on a penalty. But a few plays later, Moon hit Jacob Blankenship for the touchdown on a 19-yard pass play, and then Moon ran it in for two more, putting the War Eagles back on top 16-8 with 3:08 left in the first half.
Following turnovers on downs by both teams, Barrow recovered an Irish fumble and took it down to Houston County’s nine-yard line. With only six seconds left on the clock, Moon threw a touchdown pass to Blankenship. The PAT kick was no good, but the War Eagles were out front 22-8 at the half.
West Carroll opened up the third quarter on offense and capitalized on a nine-play drive with a 13-yard scoring carry by Lee. Dakota Saunders added the extra point, increasing West Carroll’s lead to 29-8.
On their following possession, the Irish had a big run to the end zone called back on a holding penalty, but they ran it in from 25 yards out on the very next play. The War Eagles stopped the conversion attempt, but the Irish had closed some of the gap at 29-14.
The third quarter witnessed more points for the War Eagles as Lee legged it in from 12 yards out and Saunders added the kick for a 35-14 West Carroll lead with 2:01 left in the third.
A fumble recovery by Hunter Reynolds ended Houston County’s next possession, and the War Eagles translated that turnover into another score early in the fourth quarter with an 18-yard TD by Lee and a PAT kick by Saunders.
That upped West Carroll’s lead to 41-14, which turned out to be the final score as the War Eagles stopped Houston County’s last drive 11 yards short of the end zone with just 11 seconds left on the clock. The War Eagles took a knee, and that was all she wrote.
Now 4-2 overall and 2-1 in regional competition, the War Eagles will be hosting Lake County Friday night in a big regional battle.