Eagles match '03 win total in opening game
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

August 28, 2004 - COMO - The Como-Pickton Eagles matched their win total from last season behind the running game of senior Tyrin Porter and junior Ray Hayden on Friday night.

The duo combined for 384 of the teams 471 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in a 60-0 thrashing of the Rivercrest Rebels at Heflin Field in Zero Week action.

Porter wrapped up the game within reach of the single game rushing record established by his brother, Larrin Porter (315 yards), as he finished with 277 yards on nine carries. He also scored four touchdowns.

"I thought it was a good night. The O-line blocked real good," Porter said. "I think that is the best I have ever seen them block. They played real aggressive tonight."

CPHS (1-0) looks to go 2-0 on the season next week when they travel to Celeste to take on the Blue Devils. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The home opener for Rivercrest will be Friday night against James Bowie.

"Two objectives need to happen next week. We need to stay healthy and be able to play four quarters of football. Now when I say 'play four quarters of football,' I mean be conditioned enough to play four quarters at 100 percent," C-P head coach Joe Ryzman said. "If we can do that, we will be successful."

Porter began the offensive assault early, scoring his first touchdown on a 35-yard run around the left side of the line. Hayden booted the PAT good for the early 7-0 lead.

With Rivercrest back on their own 10-yard line on fourth down, Ronnie Hightower blocked the punt out of the end-zone for a 9-0 lead.

Hayden extended the CPHS advantage to 15-0 when he powered his way in from 2 yards out, but missed the PAT with 3:46 remaining in the first quarter.

"Porter and Hayden are very good athletes. Porter just has awesome vision. He has one of those things that good running backs have - good vision. He was very impressive, and I was very proud of him," Ryzman said. "He also did an awesome job on defense tonight as well as offense."

Porter was just getting warmed up, going 62 yards to paydirt for his second touchdown of the first quarter and a 21-0 lead. Hayden missed the PAT.

The Rebels offense could not get anything going in the ballgame against a scrappy Eagle defense with six turnovers on the night.

Running back Bradley Rollen ended the night with 55 yards on 19 carries, while Ross added 8 yards on six carries for the Rebels.

"The defense did a very good job and I was very impressed with how the defense was able to create their own turnovers and capitalized on them. They gave our offense more opportunities to score," Ryzman said.

Porter's third touchdown came in the final minute of the first half when he scampered 50 yards to paydirt for a 28-0 lead. Hayden booted the PAT.

Ryzman said in an interview Wednesday he was curious how senior quarterback Josh Biggerstaff would handle the passing game against Rivercrest.

Biggerstaff went 4-of-7 for 70 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown was to Trent Vail for 33 yards and a 35-0 halftime lead. Hayden knocked in his third PAT of the first half.

"The passing game was much better this week. We improved in our passing game with Biggerstaff. I was pleased of the progress we made in our Como-Pickton passing game," Ryzman said.

The second half must have been deja-vu for the Rebels as Porter and Hayden scored four more times in the half starting with a 73-yard scamper by Porter straight through the heart of the defense.

Hayden wrapped up the scoring with the final three touchdowns for the Eagles and a long of 71 yards to deliver the knockout punch.

Jake Needham went 5-of-7 for 59 yards with an interception in the game for the Rebels. Hayden picked up the interception on Needham's first pass of the game.

Dustin Adair was the leading receiver for Rivercrest with three receptions for 41-yards in the ball-game. He had a long of 32 yards on a wide-open catch down the sideline before Vail and Porter closed in on him for the touchdown-saving tackle.

"Our pass defense was much better than last year's pass defense although there was a couple of times that we played the run before we took care of the pass," Ryzman said. "I was very pleased with the progress we made in our pass defense over last year's defense."

CPHS had 541 total yards of offense compared to 160 yards for Rivercrest.

Ryzman said the team needs to continue working on the special teams since this was only the first week the coaching staff was able to see it in a game.

"Special teams-wise we did well considering how early in the season it is. We have got a lot of work to do in special teams but for as much as we have been able to work it and for the first time this season to actually put it into a game situation, I felt good about it but we need to get better," Ryzman said.

Hayden ended the game with 107 yards rushing on 11 carries and four touchdowns for the Eagles, while Hightower had 70 yards rushing on three carries, all in the second half.

Vail was the team's leading receiver with two receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.

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