(Fleming Island) The Westside Wolverines came into The Rock and faced a focused and disciplined Fleming Island Eagles team and left without leaving a scratch. The Eagles forced the Wolverines off the field on their first possession with a three and out.
Fleming Island did not disappoint Friday evening if there were any questions about the offensive line. The big men up front were aggressive and pushed the Wolverine’s defensive line around at times, giving an impression it was men versus boys. The O-line provided their Sam Singletonless backfield little resistance until they reached the second level(linebackers) and helped create a combined 6.56 yards per carry that will likely go up when Sam takes the field next week versus the Clay High Blue Devils. The Eagle’s run game would then take over for the rest of the game.
The Eagles will be better when Florida State commit Singleton gets in the huddle, but Friday night belonged to Musthafa Marshall, who carried the rock for 27 yards and scored on a 66-yard reception where he could show off his speed. Tayshaun Smith led the way on the ground with 67 yards and a rushing touchdown. And not to be outdone by his backfield compadres, Tyler Beverly got into the mix with 53 rushing yards, including a 31-yard touchdown scamper.
Tight end Dakota Rowe had a solid game with a handful of receptions and a 31-yard touchdown reception, along with Trace Burney hauling in an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Special teams did not have a flawless evening coming away empty on two extra-point tries with a bad snap and a bobbled placement. However, they regained those two points in the third quarter with a blocked punt that ended in a safety.
The defense set the tone early and kept the pressure on throughout the game even when it would seem they could be lulled to sleep by a lackluster offensive showing by the fangless Wolverines. The names and faces remain the same on the defensive side of the ball. Jhace Edwards, Abram Wright, and Jhoel Robinson made plays throughout the games. Robinson recovered a muffed punt at the Wolverine’s 12-yard line, which set up a quick score for Burney. Edwards and Wright brought the pass rush, set the edge, and damaged during the game. Tyler Williams made his presence known with an interception just before halftime.
The one area on the team that will still need to improve is the quarterback. There were some promising signs, but simple passes were missed or overthrown. Right now, Cibastian Broughton is the front-runner, and he is very dangerous when he gets loose, but the Eagles have plenty of ground power and need a quarterback that can consistently make all the throws. There’s talent at wide reviver and tight end, so if those players can shine at times, it will only make this offense that much more potent.
On a night where the “Rock” was renamed after beloved Athletic Director Randy Warren, who sadly passed in 2019, the Eagles showed that it may now be called the Randy Warren Stadium Home of the Golden Eagles. Still, when you come to FIHS, you’ll get hit with tenacity like you took a rock to the face.
If the offensive line continues to block like they did Friday night for a very talented backfield, the defensive plays like they usually do, and the quarterback(s) can hit more consistently on passes, the opponents headed to FIHS better pack a lunch, it could be a long night.
Next up are the cross-county rivals, the Clay Blue Devils. Who, by the way, got beat Friday night 47-12 versus Bishop Kenny.