|Outscored: Boles wins battle of offenses|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Sept. 30, 2006 - COMO - In their best offensive performance of the season, the Como-Pickton Eagles were on the verge of their first win during homecoming at Ron Heflin Field.
They just couldn't stop Quinlan Boles sophomore running back Joe Gilliard.
Gilliard had 291 of the team's 341 yards of total offense with 255 yards rushing on 29 totes with five touchdowns. He also had two receptions for 36 yards in a 43-38 win over Como-Pickton Friday night.
"I wouldn't call him a one-man force, but I would call their offensive line a force to be reckoned with and that is what made that No. 8 (Gilliard) such a good running back tonight," said CPHS coach Joe Ryzman. "Their offensive line did a good job on our defense, and our defense wasn't able to produce tonight."
Following a 36-7 loss to the Union Hill Bulldogs last Friday night at Ron Heflin Field, the C-P coaching staff had a talk with the team and especially the underclassman about where the team needed to be, and they responded to the challenge.
Sophomore running back Alex Williams had his best game of the year coming off a high ankle sprain with 27 totes for 181 yards and converted a two-point conversion early in the fourth quarter.
Ryzman praised the play of Williams and was ready to see that type of game from his running back.
"We knew Alex had it in him and he showed it in the first quarter against Celeste," Ryzman said. "We just haven't had him healthy since that game, and he finally bounced back from the high ankle sprain and did a good job tonight."
Como-Pickton (0-4) will look to stop a high-powered offense in the Blue Ridge Tigers next Friday night in Blue Ridge in their pre-district finale, and coach said getting a win there would be big for the team.
"It is not just a first win to get ready for district but a first win for the season," he said. "We are looking to win every game that we go into so it is just a matter of getting a win and getting some kind of a snowball effect from there to get some wins in the program."
Gilliard opened up the offensive scoring in the first quarter with a 26-yard run to paydirt with 10:16 remaining. Marcus Anderson booted the PAT good for the 7-0 lead.
The Eagles bounced back with a score of their own as Austin Darby connected with Noe Tellez on a 15-yard touchdown strike to tie the score, 7-7, with 6:10 remaining in the quarter.
Gilliard then gave the Hornets (3-1) a 13-7 lead after the first quarter with a 5-yard run. On the PAT, senior Reece Caddell blasted his way through the Hornets line and blocked the kick as Anderson did not return to the game due to an injury on the play.
CPHS found a way to take the lead in the second quarter with a 5-yard run by senior Alex Mowat - who finished with 11 carries for 79 yards and three touchdowns. Noe Tellez booted the PAT good to give the Eagles the 14-13 lead.
Gilliard then scored his third touchdown of the game, this time on a 3-yard run, and then converted the two-point attempt untouched for a 21-14 lead with 2:38 remaining in the second period.
On the final play of the first half, Tellez gave the Eagles the momentum with a 32-yard field goal as time expired to pull the Eagles to within 21-17.
"We had offensive momentum all the way through the game, but I was concerned defensively from the get-go because I knew from the film that their offense was going to be a good offensive line," Ryzman said. "They did a good job of staying low and doing a lot of chop blocking and we worked on that and we weren't able to get the job done tonight."
In the third quarter, Como-Pickton got the lead once again on a nice option play as Darby rushed around the right side of the offensive line and pitched the ball back to Mowat, who went in from 22 yards out for the 24-21 lead. Tellez nailed his third PAT with 7:54 remaining.
Gilliard once again gave the Hornets the lead with a 16-yard touchdown and then Robert Liebel converted the two-point conversion for a 29-24 advantage.
The Hornets went to Gilliard for his fifth touchdown of the contest on a 7-yard scamper untouched, but failed on the two-point conversion with three seconds remaining to hold a 35-24 lead.
Mowat then got the Eagles to within three, 35-32, as he found an opening in the Hornets' secondary and Darby lofted a pass to Mowat who went 20 yards for the touchdown. Williams converted the PAT with 10:25 remaining.
The Hornets put the nail in the coffin as Liebel - who ended the game with 17 carries for 85 yards - cashed in on a 4-yard touchdown for the 43-32 lead. Gilliard converted the two-point conversion attempt.
With 2:20 remaining in the contest, Darby scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and then Darby was sacked on the conversion attempt for the 43-38 defeat.
Darby finished the game 6-of-9 for 95 yards in the passing department as the Eagles finished with 341 yards of offense in the loss.
"The guys did well tonight, and the special teams and the offense responded well tonight. Our defense did not come to play and it is not going to take anything away from their offense because they had a good offense," Ryzman said. "Our defense didn't step up to the challenge and we just didn't play well defensively tonight, and we couldn't stop them."
"We are a young team, and being a young team you strive to get rid of young mistakes and that is what we did tonight. This game was the best game as far as execution and eliminating penalties. We are starting to mature as a team and we need to excel in every part of the game for the rest of the season."
Notes: Senior Alyssa Taylor was crowned homecoming queen during the halftime festivities. ... In other non-district games, Alba-Golden picked up their second win of the year with a 34-12 win over Cross Roads, Grand Saline lost to Lone Oak 28-7; Union Hill edged Hawkins 22-20; Quitman improved to 5-0 with a 26-14 win over Sabine; and Winnsboro won a thriller over Spring Hill 33-28. ... Como-Pickton is the only District 16-2A team to play next Friday night.