Football: Monday Morning Quarterback - Eastern Alamance 2012
September 30, 2012By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School
First and foremost.... These are high school kids (young men) playing a game. Remember that!
This being said... Friday night was certainly not our best performance. In fact, the first half was downright bad. Do you remember last week how I commented that it was better to get beat than to lose??? Against Rockingham County, we got beat.
Not to take anything away from Eastern but... We "lost" this game. EA played good and deserved to win. There's no doubt about that. But we played nowhere near our potential. That's the game summary in a nutshell.
This was our first "bad weather" game of the year. Lightning in the area caused a slight delay in the scheduled kickoff time. But, all-in-all, the weather was not a major factor. Most of the rain took place during halftime so it didn't have much of an impact on the game.
But its too bad that the weather was uncooperative. I really think this would have been a festive game if not for the dreary skies dampening the atmosphere. The Student Section came decked out in Toga attire and they were quite a sight!
I've said it before and I'll say it again... EA is good people. Sure I heard some bad things from them during/after the game, but that is true of every fanbase (including our own). But overall, I have to give them props and respect. Aside from WA, they provide the next best fan support in Alamance County. And the vast majority of their fans are knowledgeable, respectful, and friendly.
For whatever reason, I always seem to find myself face-to-face with a senior-adult Eagles fan when I attend any EA/WA contest. This year, it was at (of all places) the bathroom sink during the lightning delay. This older gentleman was decked out in his green-and-gold and had obviously been an Eagle supporter for many years. He was the nicest man and I truly enjoyed my brief conversation with him. Just a good guy; down to earth and friendly. I find most Eagle fans fit this mold.
So if anyone from EA is reading this article... Congratulations and good luck! I'll be pullin' for you.... unless we meet again!
In retrospect, I suppose that it should have been an omen... A yellow flag went sailing through the damp evening air on the opening kickoff. It was the first of many, many, MANY penalty flags to litter the bermuda grass of Dave Morton Field on Friday evening.
I couldn't find the final statistics, although I heard through the grapevine that EA had approx. 17 penalties for 155 yards. WA couldn't have been too far behind (at least in number of penalties).
Were they all legit or were the refs flag-happy??? Personally, I think most were legit. And there could have been more! Simply put... It was not a well played game.
The Warriors did come out strong on the opening drive and quickly moved down the field. I was impressed the Warrior OL as they were dominant on this drive, repeatedly driving back the Eagle DL.
Unfortunately, WA found themselves in "No Man's Land".... That difficult 4th down area where its too close to punt and too far to kick a fieldgoal. So you have to go for it on 4th down. Its a difficult decision and it was the right decision on Friday night.
But the Warriors couldn't convert. And this happened multiple times during the game; a failure to convert on 4th down. So EA took over possession and that snuffed out the lone WA bright spot in what would be an abyssmal first half. It was a classic case of...
The rest of the first half went something like this...
Blown pass coverage.
Blown punt coverage.
Incorrect personnel groups.
You name the mistake... We did it.
The incorrect personnel groups forced the Warrior coaching staff to burn all 3 first half timeouts barely into the second quarter.
At the half, it was 21-0. By early in the 3rd quarter, it was 27-0.
To quote one of the great philosphers of our era...
The second half was a real football game. The Eagles got a quick strike TD to go up 27-0 but then WA showed some intestinal fortitude and fought back valiantly.
Touchdowns by Donovan Apple and Brock Deatherage (on a pass from QB Nigel Carlton) cut the Eagle lead to 27-13 with 9:44 still to play.
I was very proud of the way that the Warriors fought back. That showed me something. But Eastern would have none of it and methodically marched down the field on the ensuing possesion to put the the game out of reach; 34-13.
Player Standouts for Week 7
Game MVP - I'm going with Justin Wilson for the second week in a row. Justin continues to impress on both sides of the ball. Justin had 2 takeaways (Int & Fumble Recovery) while playing defense and several nice grabs from his WR spot.
"Its The Little Things Award" - I'm going to give a group award this week. I'm giving the award to all of the guys who are playing more than 1 position.
Guys... I know you're beat up and I know you're tired and I know you're sometimes being forced to play a second postion that is not your natural position... But stick it out. Don't give up. Keep fighting. There's still a lot of things that this team can accomplish and just think about how good it will feel when we do!
Where do we go from here????
Remember the "Amen Corner" analogy put forth 2 weeks ago??? The 3-game stretch of Rockingham County, EA, and Williams. Well right now, the "corner" is turning into a straight line and that line is pointing downward. The season momentum has turned drastically in the wrong direction.
In order to turn it around, we have to win at Williams. Its as simple as that.
You never like to say that a specific game is a "Must Win" but, in my opinion, the battle vs. the Bulldogs is pretty darn close.
Lets not call it a "Must Win." But lets at least label it as a...
"Really, Really, REALLY, REALLY NEED TO WIN" kind of game.
So now the Warrior Nation (players, coaches and fans) has to do some soul-searching and make a decision. Everybody loves a winner. It was easy to show up and support the Warriors when they were cruising along at 5-0 and ranked in the top 10.
But after 2 losses and with a depleted roster, its not so easy any more is it???
This Friday we travel to the "Big City" of Burlington to battle the much improved Bulldogs; a team that would like nothing more than to pile it on the Warriors.
You have 2 choices:
So take a "virtual bye week" and clear your head of the demons of the past 2 weeks.
Its time to start fresh and that begins on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
I'm "All Aboard." Will you join me???