Hoehn and WSN Eagles to travel to Excel Friday for fourth region game
After already having won two region games this season—one more than they have won in the past four years combined—the W.S. Neal Eagle football team will get back in region play this Friday when they travel to Excel.
W.S. Neal is currently 4-1 overall and 2-1 in region play after taking down Hillcrest Friday night at home 38-17 in a non-region game.
Eagle head coach Doug Hoehn said his team played very hard Friday night.
“It was a humid night and we were playing a very physical team that runs extremely well,” Hoehn said. “The kids played tough all night long and gave a very good effort. We did have a couple of breakdowns as far as formations and what we were trying to do a couple of times. We would not like to see those things five games into the season. But overall we were very happy with their effort.”
On offense, Hoehn said backs Marquese Banks and Quinton Samuels had a good night.
“They had a very good game for us,” Hoehn said. “We were glad to have Tavin Ingraham back on the offensive line. He had a very good game for us and Mitch Howard our center played his best game of the year.”
Defensively, Hoehn said Cam Blackman had a great game for the Eagles.
“He has really come on for us,” Hoehn said. “We lost Cam last year in the first game of the season and it kept him out until the last game of the season. He has really come on and is our leader on defense. He is playing very good football. He does everything we ask him to do, no matter where we put him. He is getting the job done. D.J. Hodges had a good game on defense with eight tackles and one for loss and Michael Williams had a good game for us with nine tackles and three for loss.”
Hoehn mentioned others who had good games.
“Tory Brown had a good game for us on the defensive line and was probably his best game all season,” Hoehn said. “Keith Bradley had another good game for us punting. He does a good job of placing those kicks. Thursday, Keith had all four wisdom teeth cut out. So he really gutted it out for us. He is doing a good job.”
After five games this season, Hoehn said his team is much improved from last year.
“Right now we are averaging 432 yards rush per game and average scoring 42.2 points per game,” Hoehn said. “Defensively, we average giving up 11.8 points a game. We you compare us to last year in my first year. It is a huge improvement but we have a long ways to go. We still have a lot of things to improve on and we need to improve on them quick. The kids are responding well for us. They are really buying into the program and are understanding that hard work and sacrifice leads to wins and that football is a team sport and not an individual sport. They are stepping up and doing what we ask them to do and play the position we ask them to play. You have to have that to be successful. You can’t have individuals that want to focus on themselves. We are happy with it. We have had no fumbles this year and only two interceptions.”
Excel comes into the game with W.S. Neal with a 1-4 record overall and an 0-3 record in region play. W.S. Neal and Excel have not played since the 1958 season when Excel won 19-18. W.S. Neal won the 1957 contest with the Panthers 26-20. Excel lost last Friday 30-28 to Monroe County.
“They are a very well-coached team,” Hoehn said. “What they are doing on offense and defense with their schemes is very sound. They have a new coach and it is going to take a little time to put his hand print on the team. I think they are off to a great start. There are other successes you can measure in football besides wins and losses and that are what we did last year. I see them improving vastly over the course of the season this year in the three films we have on them. I think they are doing a great job with those kids.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. in Excel.