WAGENER — For the second week in a row, Wagener-Salley scored 40 points. This time it happened to be in a winning effort, as the War Eagles earned a 42-6 victory over North to move their record to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in Region 4-A.
For the first half, the game was much closer than the final score indicates. Wagener-Salley jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before North’s Josh Harley returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.
The two teams struggled on offense in the second quarter. North quarterback and defensive back Darrien Wise gave his team an opportunity to put a dent in the War Eagles’ lead or possibly tie the game when he intercepted Malcolm Stroman’s pass late in the second quarter and returned it to the 3-yard line.
North was unable to capitalize before time ran out in the first half. That final drive of the half was be the last real threat North gave Wagener-Salley.
“We didn’t play particularly well there in the first half,” Wagener-Salley head coach Ken Tucker said after the game. “The score was a lot closer than we would’ve liked it to be. They played well on defense in that half, and we just didn’t execute well.”
Wagener-Salley turned things around in the second half. The team came out and scored three times in the third quarter as part of a 26-0 run that to close out the game. Malcolm Stroman and Eric Corley carried most of the load for the War Eagles offensively. Corley scored three times in the game, and he rushed for 116 yards on 23 carries. Stroman ran for 109 yards, which included two electrifying touchdown runs in the second half. Stroman also threw for a touchdown in the first half. Tucker didn’t choose to go to the air too often. Stroman finished the game completing 6 of 11 passes for 57 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“In the third quarter, we came out, and the kids were ready to get after it a little bit more,” Tucker said. “We put that first half behind us because that wasn’t really pretty.”
Tucker and his team will now head into a bye week before a crucial three game stretch. The War Eagles will travel to Fox Creek the following week with much at stake.
“We’ve got a tough three game stretch coming up starting with Fox Creek,” Tucker said. “We’re going to use that bye week to let a couple guys with bumps and bruises get better. It’s also a chance for us to work on things we’re struggling with right now.”
Eric Russell covers sports for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from USC Aiken in 2012 with a degree in communications
WS 14 0 20 6 – 42
N 6 0 0 0 – 6
WS– Malcolm Stroman 24 pass to Bobby Chavis (Rushton kick) 6:22