Eagles out to avenge last year's loss
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 4, 2004 - CELESTE - Being relentless and playing hard until the whistle blows.

This is the motto for the Como-Pickton Eagles after a 43-7 win over the Celeste Blue Devils on Parent Night in a rematch of last year's 13-10 loss in Week One.

"Our kids played with heart, and they played like winners. They are getting better every week and I am proud of them," coach Joe Ryzman said. "We are going to continue working on our mistakes and continue to get better."

Senior Tyrin Porter led the way for the Eagles scoring three touchdowns on the night, all in the first half, en route to 146 yards rushing on 12 carries. He now has 423 yards rushing on 22 carries and seven touchdowns in two games this season.

Como-Pickton scored their first touchdown of the game behind strong running from Ray Hayden, who went 47 yards to paydirt for an early 6-0 lead. He also nailed the PAT good.

After going four-of-nine on extra points last week in a 60-0 win over the Rivercrest Rebels, Hayden went a perfect five-of-five against Celeste.

"That first week was a first week and we had another week to work on special teams as well, and we improved in that area. We are just going to try and get better each week," Ryzman said.

Porter scored his first touchdown with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter when he powered his way in from 7 yards out.

Quarterback Josh Biggerstaff then ran in for the conversion to extend the lead to 15-0.

Porter then came back with a 40-yard scamper for his second touchdown and a 22-0 lead for the Eagles.

In the final seconds of the first quarter, the Blue Devils put together two plays to get them into the end zone starting with a 22-yard pass in stride from Brandon Darter to Cooper Haralson to put them on the 1-yard line.

On the next play, Eddie Ford went in for the score to cut the deficit to 22-7. Sophomore Casey Barbee hit the PAT. Ford had 15 carries for 33 yards in the game.

With four minutes remaining in the second quarter, Biggerstaff threw an 85-yard touchdown pass to Porter, who was double-covered, in stride for a 29-7 lead. Porter had two receptions in the game for 90 yards.

Biggerstaff finished the game nine-of-15 for 190 yards and one touchdown. He also had an interception in the second half.

"We worked a lot on the passing game this week because our running game is taking off and it showed tonight," Ryzman said. "It showed that we worked hard on it, and I was pleased with the progress we made."

Biggerstaff ended the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter, rushing for 36 yards on five carries in the game.

Ryzman said the team needs to cut down on penalties after being flagged 14 times for 105 yards.

"We had a lot of penalties called on us. I don't know if all of the penalties that were called were accurate, and I won't know until I see the film," Ryzman said. "Even if most of them or part of them are accurate, we have got a lot of correcting to do. We can't be in a tight ballgame and have those types of penalties and win."

Hayden rounded out the game as the second-leading rusher with 105 yards on six carries and one touchdown.

Junior Trent Vail had three receptions for 43 yards against the Blue Devils, while Bo Baxter had two catches for 40 yards.

C-P's defensive unit gave the Blue Devils fits throughout the game as Celeste had 166 yards of offense compared to 510 yards for the Eagles.

"The defense did well, but I tell you what when you got an offense that is performing as well as our offense does it helps our defense a lot by keeping them off of the field," Ryzman said. "Our offense is really clicking well right now and that helps."

The Eagles are now 2-0 on the season and will face the Harmony Eagles, a team that went 8-3 as a division I playoff team last year under coach Tim Russell. Celeste (0-2) travels to Blue Ridge next week.

Harmony (1-1), now under the guidance of Jerry Blankenship, lost to New Diana 26-15 Friday night and are predicted to finish third in district 19-2A. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"We are going to have our toughest game yet this year. Harmony is a good 2A ball club," Ryzman said. "I can't tell you what we will face because I haven't seen them this year."

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