10/22/06 — Myers, Eagles spoil Gators' homecoming

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Myers, Eagles spoil Gators' homecoming

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 22, 2006 2:19 AM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Racked by concussions in recent weeks, Rosewood quarterback Josh Myers showed no ill affects Friday evening at Spring Creek.

The senior signal caller rushed for four touchdowns and threw for two more in the Eagles' 50-24 victory at "The Swamp." Rosewood exited 5-4 overall, but more importantly gained its first Class 1-A Carolina Conference win of the season.

The Gators (3-5 overall) suffered their second consecutive league loss.

"Myers did a great job," said Spring Creek coach Roy Whitfield. "He's a great athlete and he runs their (misdirection) offense very well. We couldn't stop them when we had to."

Whitfield pointed to a sequence of series that started in the second quarter and carried over after halftime.

Spring Creek climbed to within 22-16 on Josh Wright's 38-yard halfback touchdown pass to Emmanuel Hinton. Rosewood answered with an 11-play drive that silenced an overflow homecoming crowd and left the Gator defense stunned at halftime.

Myers started the 61-yard march with a 12-yard run. Two more rushing plays led to a first down inside Gator territory. After a run and two incomplete passes, Cody Richards converted a key fourth-down play inside the Gators' red zone.

Linebacker Braxton Brickhouse deflected one pass and Myers overthrew Chris Holmes near the right sideline.

"A lot of bad-thrown balls," said Myers.

Alex Dunmire broke up Myers' next pass intended for tight end Garrett Howell. The Eagles faced 4th-and-10 at the Gators' 22-yard line and burned a timeout.

"We had to make up our mind if we wanted to go for the field goal or take a shot at the end zone," said Myers. "We went four (receivers) wide and spread the defense out. I went through my progressions and made the right pass.

"I read the defense and put the ball where it needed to be put."

Myers put it in the hands of Abel Enriquez, who scooted 22 yards down the right sideline and into the end zone. It was Enriquez's first touchdown catch of the season and just his second reception since the Eagles' season-opening win over Mattamuskeet.

Cameron Lowe's PAT boosted the Eagles' advantage to 29-16 at intermission.

"That touchdown pass hurt," said Whitfield. "It was a turning point in the first half, but it wasn't a turning point in the ball game."

The turning point occurred in the third quarter.

Myers, who rushed for a game-high 160 yards, directed an eight-play drive on the Eagles' opening possession of the second half. Myers tallied his second touchdown -- a 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-goal.

"We wanted to stick it in right off the bat and kill their morale," said Myers.

Spring Creek responded with a quick four-play possession that ended on Wright's 15-yard touchdown run. But Myers provided touchdown runs of 60 and 20 yards to put the Gators away.

"That's a big swing right there," said Whitfield. "That's asking a lot out of our offense and our defense. We just dug a hole too early."

The Eagles recovered three first-half fumbles and worked on short fields. They converted two miscues into touchdowns -- a 2-yard scamper by Myers and a 2-yard dive by fullback Chris Holmes.

Spring Creek closed the gap to 14-8 on Hinton's 1-yard quarterback sneak. Hinton finished the night with career highs in rushing (98 yards) and passing (70). The teams traded touchdowns until Myers' back-breaking completion to Enriquez.

"(The turnovers) made the score look worse than what the game actually was," said Rosewood coach Daniel Barrow. "Their (Gators) offense did a great job in the gun and that gave us fits. We finally made the right adjustment, which helped us in the third quarter."

The Eagles limited the Gators to one third-down conversion on 26 offensive plays in the second half.