|Down The Road
Eagles face neighboring Red Raiders
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Oct. 27, 2006 - COMO - With only about 10 miles between the two schools, the Como-Pickton Eagles and the Winnsboro Red Raiders clash in a District 16-2A match-up tonight.
Kickoff for the� homecoming contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Red Raider Stadium.
"Our kids and their kids know each other, and when you have two teams that are in close proximity to each other you are going to have some excitement," said CPHS coach Joe Ryzman. "There will be some excitement around this game."
The teams come into tonight's game on opposite ends of the standings as Winnsboro (6-1) is in a three-way tie with Quitman and Hawkins for first place at 2-0 in district, while Como-Pickton (0-7) is in a three-way tie with Grand Saline and Alba-Golden at 0-2.
The Red Raiders made the move from Class 3A to Class 2A during realignment this year with ease as they have only lost one game, that to Hughes Springs 21-12 during Week 1 of the season.
"They are a very sound team offensively and defensively," Ryzman said. "They are not very complicated but they play technique very well on both sides of the ball."
WHS has picked up wins against White Oak 37-0; Harleton 42-14; Mount Vernon 30-7; Spring Hill 33-28; Grand Saline 28-7; and Alba-Golden 42-3.
Ryzman said the Eagles will see a familiar offense as Winnsboro runs the veer formation behind senior quarterback Jake Hawkins (6-0, 185, 4.6).
"When you run the veer, especially at the high school level, you first of all have to stop the dive and then the quarterback," the coach said. "So, that is what we are looking at and Winnsboro has a very good quarterback. They also have some good fullbacks that do a good job as well. We have to stop them first and then stop the pitch."
With Winnsboro outscoring opponents 233-64 this season and allowing the fewest points during the season of the district teams, the Como-Pickton offense will have to be on top of its game tonight.
"Offensively, we are going to continue what we have been doing the past two weeks and become better at what we do," Ryzman said. "Defensively, we are looking at controlling their option game, which they run probably 78 percent of the time and do it very well."
With the return of senior linebacker Reece Caddell from injury, Ryzman said he is not sure what kind of impact he will make during the game.
"Reece is going through limited contact this week and he is excited about going back into the game," he said. "It will be hard to say how Reece is going to be until Reece gets into the game Friday night."
Following their loss to Quitman last week, Ryzman said after watching the film of his team he was impressed with how hard the players played throughout the contest.
"You saw a team come out and play hard against Quitman, and what we did against Quitman is what we have been doing all year. We have been working our kids all year at getting better at fundamentals," the coach said.
"I was most proud of our kids last week in that they came out and played hard."
In other district action tonight, a battle of undefeated teams face off as Hawkins travels to Quitman, while Alba-Golden travels to Grand Saline as both teams are looking for their first district win.