Como-Pickton ends season in sixth place
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Nov. 5, 2005 - EDGEWOOD - After an emotional week at Como-Pickton High School following the death of former athlete Josh Biggerstaff, the Eagles ended the regular season on a sour note losing their final three games of the season.

The Edgewood Bulldogs finished the season in fifth place in district with a 46-22 win over Como-Pickton. The Eagles finished the season at 3-7 overall and 1-5 in District 17-2A play in sixth place. Edgewood went 6-4, 2-4.

"Our kids came out and played really hard and that is what we wanted them to do this week was to play hard. Not only did we want to play hard for four quarters, but we wanted to be able to eliminate any mistakes that could possibly cost us the game and we made some costly mistakes," said CPHS coach Joe Ryzman. "Edgewood was able to capitalize on those mistakes and made scores out of those mistakes."

Both teams played a sloppy game as the combined for 11 turnovers, seven of which were by the Eagles, 17 penalties and three ejections.

CP senior quarterback Trent Vail had his toughest outing of the season, going 5-of-17 for 62 yards and five interceptions. He also threw a touchdown pass to Bryan Hicks with 19 seconds remaining in the first half for a 27-14 deficit.

"Trent took a lot of hits and he showed a lot of poise and character, and I am proud of him for that," Ryzman said. "He got back off that ground when he was hurting and did well for us."

Vail finished the season 27-of-66 for 380 yards with seven interceptions and three touchdowns and rushed for 281 yards on 66 totes and three touchdowns.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 12-0 lead as junior running back Sam Buker scored his first of two touchdowns on the night from 14 yards. Buker also scored from 70 yards in the second quarter.

In the second quarter, Bulldogs quarterback Jeromey Rose connected with Thomas Calkins on a 15-yard strike for the 12-0 lead.

After a personal foul penalty on the Eagles drove them back to the CPHS 20-yard line, senior tailback Ray Hayden scored his 23rd rushing touchdown of the season going 80 yards around the left side of the line to cut the Bulldogs lead to 12-7. Noe Tellez kick the PAT good.

Ryzman said having Hayden in the backfield this year was a blessing for him as a coach.

"Ray came out in the second half of the game and really ran with a vengeance. He has a lot of natural ability and he showed that throughout the year and we were blessed to have him in the backfield," the coach said.

Hayden wrapped up his senior campaign with 1,605 yards rushing on 186 totes and averaged 9.6 yards per carry in eight games. He also was the fourth-leading receiver with three catches for 62 yards.

Ryzman said with the talent he saw from the Bulldogs during the game, he was surprised they hadn't won more games and compared them to playoff teams Caddo Mills and Lone Oak.

"Edgewood has a tremendous amount of talent and most of their kids were seniors and another half of their team was juniors," Ryzman said. "I was very surprised they haven't won more games with the talent they have and from what I saw they are probably as talented as a Caddo Mills or a Lone Oak."

In the second half, Hicks scored his second touchdown of the game as Edgewood committed a turnover and Hicks scooped up the loose ball and went 71 yards the other way to paydirt for the 40-22 deficit with 7:59 remaining in the fourth quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Kaleb Mosley and Thomas Calkins were ejected from the game after Mosley was involved in a fight after having his helmet twisted during the play.

LaKeith Henson rounded out the scoring with a 57-yard scamper with 3:02 remaining in the game for the 46-22 finale. Como-Pickton senior Josh Telfer was ejected after the play.

Hayden ended the game with 80 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown, and Hicks had three receptions for 37 yards and one touchdown. Hicks was the second leading rusher (73-297-2) and receiver (9-82-2) for the Eagles this season.

Edgewood had 144 yards rushing from Buker on 17 carries, while teammate Tyler McDaniel had 108 yards on 15 totes and one touchdown, and Henson had 87 yards on three carries and two touchdowns. Rose finished 3-of-10 for 61 yards with one interception and one touchdown.

In the other District 17-2A finales, Caddo Mills won the district title with a 28-25 thriller at Lone Oak, while the Grand Saline Indians won 53-20 over the Alba-Golden Panthers.

Ryzman said even though the Eagles did not have a winning season, he enjoyed the experience of coaching them this year and saw a lot of good character traits out of his players during the season.

"I was really proud with the way my kids handled all of the adversity and we had our share of adversity and they were able to overcome that and progress throughout the year," Ryzman said. "This team had a whole lot of good character and they played as a team and even though we didn't end up with a winning season I very much enjoyed coaching these kids this year."

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