The Western Carolina War Eagles (5-4) were sent to Kingsport, Tenn. on Saturday, June 15 to play the Tennessee Crusaders (7-3) to see who would play in the Imperial Football League championship game. Coming out of a three week span of not playing a game proved to be a difficult obstacle for the War Eagles to overcome as they lost 28-0.
To say that the Crusaders came out hot in the beginning of the game would be an understatement. They were able to score three quick times to put the War Eagles in a 22 point deficit to start the second quarter.
The first half of play for the War Eagles saw scattered successes on the offensive side of the ball with decent runs by Josue Otero and Kris Quinn, but then would be lost the next play by some phantom penalties. Going into the half time break the War Eagles seemed to be down and out of gas with the Crusaders leading 28-0.
To start the second half of play, the War Eagles received the kickoff and started their offensive series without a hitch to slow them down. They were able to gash the Crusaders defense with multiple big runs that average 8 to 10 yards per carry. War Eagles lineman, led by Ian McCauley and Brett Robertson, were able to push the defensive line around with force in the remaining two quarters of the game, but a few miscommunications during certain plays were able to sputter out drives that put the War Eagles in scoring positions.
Defensively, the War Eagles, in the second half, were able to prevent the Crusaders from putting any more points on the board. The effort was led by the defensive lineman: Haile Gibson, Evan Cagle and Stephen Little. These linemen were able to free their linebackers up so they could make series ending stops, which allowed the War Eagles offense to try to score. The second half proved to be a much better experience for the War Eagles, but the Crusaders did enough in the first quarter offensively to secure enough points and their defense shut down the War Eagles offense in crucial moments.
Offensive leaders: Rushing – Josue Otero, 103 yards. Andre Dewhurst, 74 yards. Kris Quinn, 44 yards.
Defensive leaders: Brett Robertson – 8 Tackles, 1 QB sack. Andre Dewhurst – 5 Tackles, 1 TFL. Austin Curtice – 5 Tackles. Antonio Johnson – 4 Tackles, 1 QB Sack. Demakus Staton – 4 Tackles.
War Eagles officials stated, “The Western Carolina War Eagles would like to thank everybody who supported them this year making the second year of their team better than the first. A big thank you to all of their sponsors, boosters, cheerleaders, game crew, field staff, coaches, team trainer John Mitzel, players, fans, The One Feather and a special thank you to Mr. Ray Kinsland for being the voice of the War Eagles. Please come back out next and let us try to make next year another great season and strive to become the IFL champions!”
For players info, sponsors info and all other info, please visit: wareaglesfootball.org
– Western Carolina War Eagles