The Alabama School for the Deaf’s football team hosted Model Secondary School for the Deaf (Washington, D.C.) for a homecoming showdown Saturday afternoon, but the end result didn’t leave Silent Warriors’ players, fans and alumni much reason to cheer.
The Eagles swooped down on the Silent Warriors for a 50-14 victory at Kiwanis Field.
“The exhaustion was there,” ASD head coach Paul Kulick said. “We were going back-and-forth, and it just kept getting worse and worse.
“The boys were getting down, and I was trying to fight to keep their spirits up. The other team kept fighting, and I told them, ‘You’re going to have to fight back.’
“In the beginning of the second half, we were fine … then, we were out of gas. It was just a bad game for us.”
ASD struck the first blow with a 9-yard touchdown run by running back Michael Paige. Running back Cory McKinnie converted the two-point try to put the Silent Warriors ahead 8-0.
From there, MSSD took over.
The Eagles immediately matched the Silent Warriors with an 85-yard kick return touchdown by running back Marquize Nash, who added two points on the conversion to tie the game 8-all.
Eagles quarterback Dewon Emery added a pair of second-quarter touchdowns -- one on a 2-yard run (two-point try unsuccessful) and the other on a 14-yard pass to wide receiver Joshua Kinner (two-point run converted by running back Ola Waddell) to go into halftime ahead 22-8.
The Silent Warriors opened the second half with a touchdown drive capped by an 18-yard run by Paige to shrink the margin to 22-14, but that would be the closest ASD would get.
Five to know
- Paige led ASD with 103 yards rushing on 20 carries.
- Nash scored a pair of rushing touchdowns (5 yards and 4 yards) in the second half and paced the Eagles with 90 yards on the ground on 14 carries.
- ASD quarterback Tanner Wood, who suffered a first-half leg injury, returned to the contest but had little luck moving the offense. His second pass of the half bounced off the hands of his intended target on a screen attempt. Emery, playing defense for the Eagles, plucked the ball from the air and raced 40 yards to put MSSD ahead 44-14 early in the fourth quarter.
- The final play of regulation occurred under a running clock. The Eagles, who just took over on their own 6-yard line after an ASD punt, added insult to injury with an Emery pass to Kinner, who caught the ball near the Eagles’ 40 and shook free for a 94-yard touchdown. The clock expired before the Eagles could attempt a two-point conversion.
- The Silent Warriors committed 14 penalties for 86 yards. The Eagles finished with five for 53 yards.
- Kulick on not getting the victory on homecoming: “It’s very disappointing, but I’m proud of our boys. They fought for all four quarters.”
- Kulick on the Eagles’ late touchdown: “They were angry because we beat them last year (22-6). That was just revenge. That pass, that was unnecessary. I would never do that if I’m leading by 20, 30 or 40 points. I’ll have to sit down and talk with (MSSD head coach Angelo Leccese).”
- ASD (2-4) will travel to face the Louisiana School for the Deaf on Thursday night at 7.