Eagles come-from-behind to remain unbeaten
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 11, 2004 - COMO - The Como-Pickton Eagles wrapped up their final home non-district contest in impressive fashion Friday night in a come-from-behind 33-25 win over the Harmony Eagles at Ron Heflin Field.

The Eagles will take their unblemished 3-0 record into Collinsville (3-0) next week to wrap up the predistrict season against the Pirates. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Collinsville, under coach Aaron Keesee, beat Grapevine Faith Christian 52-21 Friday night.

The Eagles have surpassed their win total from last season when they went 1-9 in Coach Joe Ryzman's first year at the school. With just two more wins, the Eagles tie their win total from their 2002 playoff season of 5-6 under coach Sam Walker.

"I am not thinking about the past but always thinking about the future. I have no time to think about what it used to be," Ryzman said. "I am looking right now at what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and what we need to do to correct it and become better. All of my focus is on the immediate and the future."

Biggerstaff sealed the win for C-P on an 83-yard dash down the sideline for a 32-25 lead with 5:49 left to play. Ray Hayden booted the PAT good.

"It could not have been there if it wouldn't have been there for Bo Baxter and Trent Vail to block. They came out of nowhere and my blocking down field helped," Biggerstaff said after the game.

Ryzman and Biggerstaff said the way the team handled adversity after being down 19-0 in the first five minutes of the game played a key part in the Eagles picking up the win.

"I thought we responded as well as anybody could respond to adversity. I was proud of them as I can be. They never got their heads down and never said anything negative," Ryzman said. "They kept focused, and they kept their head in the game and overcame the adversity as well as anyone could ask."

Harmony started off the scoring on just the second play of the game after Tyrin Porter fumbled the opening kickoff on Harmony's 29-yard line.

Harmony's Dana Stribling, in place of injured quarterback Jonathan Montgomery, found Dillon Chevalier in stride for 71 yards and a 6-0 lead. Jake Atchley booted the PAT good.

On Harmony's next drive, Stribling again found Chevalier on third down and one for a 20-yard connection and a 13-0 lead. The two-point conversion pass failed by Stribling.

After Atchley scored from 8 yards out for Harmony, Hayden brought the momentum back in the favor of Como-Pickton.

Hayden took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards to paydirt, but missed the PAT for a 19-6 deficit.

Porter scored the Eagles' first offensive touchdown of the game from 8 yards out for his seventh touchdown of the 2004 season. Biggerstaff scored on the two-point conversion with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter.

On fourth down and nine from the CPHS 26-yard line, Hayden faked the punt and ran 24 yard to keep the drive alive. On second down and eight, Porter ran straight through the heart of the Harmony defense for a 48-yard TD. Hayden missed the PAT to give Como-Pickton their first lead of the game at 20-19.

"You know you work all year long building character in your young men and building them to the point to where they can overcome adversity but you never know until they are put to the test," Ryzman said. "Tonight was our test, and they passed with flying colors."

Harmony took the lead into the lockerroom with under a minute remaining when Stribling connected on his third touchdown pass of the game. This time Alex Eades went 32 yards on the receptions for a 25-20 halftime score.

Biggerstaff scored one more touchdown in the second half when he sprang in from 5 yards out for a 26-25 advantage,

"This football game was about a team that never got their head down when adversity set in and slowly but surely worked back throughout the football game to pull out a victory," Ryzman said.

Porter had 19 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the game, while Biggerstaff had six carries for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Hayden had 53 yards rushing in the game on six carries for CPHS.

Harmony was led by Trevor Senn with 75 yards on 13 carries, while Stribling wrapped the game six-of-13 for 140 yards and three touchdowns.

"Our team did a great job of coming back from adversity. That has been our whole goal this season is to be able to come back from adversity and this is the first time we have dealt with it," Biggerstaff said. "This team stayed together and we are a family. We are not a team, we are a family."

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