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Home News-Telegram Sports C-P loses homecoming football game

C-P loses homecoming football game

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COMO – District 13-2A October football action brought the first signs of a fall chill in the air, and the Como-Pickton Eagles experienced it first hand with a 33-23 homecoming loss to the Grand Saline Indians.


It was a fourth quarter Eagle comeback that warmed the homecoming fans at Ron Heflin Field by the hands of senior James Carter and teammate sophomore Trevor Cagle.
The duo scored back-to-back touchdowns to start fourth quarter play after being down 33-2. The momentum began when Carter cleared an eight-yard gain and repeated it to put the Eagles on the 47-yard line. Junior starting quarterback Zach Carpenter faked a handoff for a 45-yard gain on a keeper. Carter took the short route for the six-point score. Eagle senior Hunter Cooksey secured the two-point conversion to make the scoreboard lights read 33-10 with C-P closing the gap.
With a tackle by Matthew Sharp, the Indians released possession into the Eagles’ hands on downs.
Jeff Hendricks returned the punt giving the Eagles the ball on the 40-yard line. With 7:30 on the game clock, Cagle turned on his jets and made his 65-yard play for a touchdown. Teammate junior Angel Mercado booted the PAT good to put the score at 33-17.
The Eagles were hot. Sacks made by seniors Matt Ford and James Carter caused Grand Saline to punt on fourth down and nine. C-P junior Mike Lageschaar came close to blocking the Indian punt. The Eagles continued to make forward motion with another Carter carry. At the 30-yard line, Carter dashed through to give his team the ball on the 50-yard line but a personal foul call on C-P counteracted the progress.
This did not deter the Eagle team for long as Carter took the Carpenter handoff only stopped by Indian Greg Evans. The down marked went back to one with just under three minutes to play.
A pass to Cooksey fell short, and it was second and ten for C-P.
Carpenter sent an aerial to Cagle in the corner but it just out-of-bounds shy of a touchdown. C-P senior Brandt Steele snagged the next Carpenter pass to roll the down marker back. Carter took advantage of the red zone position to slip in another score. Carpenter rolled out for the two-point conversion, but it failed to make it across goal line.
With 1:58 left in the game Grand Saline still held the lead 33-23. But the Eagles were still alive. Senior Joseph Thornhill accompanied by Sharp stopped the Indians at the 50-yard line. Passes to Cagle and Cooksey were narrowly missed. Carpenter connected with Cagle that gave the Eagles the third down and four. However, the clock wouldn’t allow it with just 16 seconds remaining. Another long ball to Cagle fell incomplete. Grand Saline’s Emilio Solis intercepted the final pass intended for Cagle with three seconds left to sew up the ball game in favor of the Indians 33-23.
C-P won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball under the Friday night lights and the glow of the full moon. After punting away on downs, C-P senior Jeff Hendricks got in a fumble recovery on the 37-yard line. The Indians turned around and recovered one of their own.
The first half of the game saw the Indians on the board with two touchdowns and PATs by Michael Martin sandwiched around a C-P safety secured by Eagle seniors Zach Hankins and Ford.
A 60-yard pass from Carpenter to Cagle, gains made by Steele and Hendricks, highlighted the first quarter. Spotlighted in the second quarter were catches by Eagle sophomore Brodie Ogle and freshman Bryce Steele made before an injury to a tackled Indian delayed the game with 4:38 on the first half clock. 
The second quarter scoring was capped by a touchdown pass from Grand Saline quarterback Thomas Miller to Josh Carpenter, and with just four seconds before the break Miller connected with Evans for a TD, neither of the extra points were good. The score at halftime was 26-2 Indians’ favor. Evans repeated to cross the goal line in the third quarter along with the PAT, the Indians ended their scoring with 4:40 on the clock.
"I thought the team bounced back well late in the game," said C-P head football coach Paul Tullis. "We can't wait until the fourth quarter to start scoring. The kids scraped hard on defense but still gave up the big play. Grand Saline didn’t really drive the ball on us, but they were able to come up with the explosive gains. Zach Carpenter grew up as a quarterback in the second half and did some good things for us. James (Carter) had over 200 yard rushing really ran the ball hard with passion. Jeff Hendricks added a spark blocking taking Corey Gibson's spot (Gibson was out with a staph infection, but is recovering). We played better as a team on both sides of the ball. We have to eliminate turnovers to give ourselves a chance to win."
The Eagles racked up 266 total rushing yards with Carter gaining most of those on his 28 carries for 203 yards, Carpenter had 10 carries for 40 yards, Hendricks had a carry for a gain of 11, Bryce Steele had a carry for nine, and his brother, Brandt had two carries for five yards. Passing for C-P was Carpenter completing 10 of 26 for 172 yards. Cagle led in receiving with four receptions for 127 yards, Ogle had three for a gain of 23, and Brandt Steele also had three catches for 22 yards. Overall, C-P rallied for 438 total yards.
This was the first win of the season for the Indians as they moved their mark to 1-4 overall, 1-1 in district. Como-Pickton moves to 1-4 overall to match and 0-2 in district play. During halftime homecoming ceremonies, 2008 C-P Homecoming Queen Maci Kight crowned Violeta Perez, daughter of Pantaleon and Marie Rodriguez, as the new 2009 queen.
The Eagles will go on the road to challenge Winnsboro in a Highway 11 rivalry game next Friday.
Other results for District 13-2A are:  Caddo Mills over Cooper 35-6, Lone Oak defeated Winnsboro 34-26, and Quitman beat Alba-Golden 42-0. Cumby along with Dallas Gateway were idle this week.
District 14-1A results included: Quinlan Boles over James Bowie 47-16, Collinsville came back in the fourth quarter to defeat Wolfe City 42-28, Celeste over Detroit 53-30, and Fruitvale got their first win over Tyler All Saints 7-0.



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