Eagles looking to break winless streak in opener
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
Aug. 31, 2007 - COMO - This year's matchup between the Como-Pickton Eagles and the Rivercrest Rebels will have many similarities with new coaches and two teams that went a combined 3-17 last year.
After an 0-10 season for Como-Pickton, with one of their losses coming at the hands of Rivercrest in the season opener, both teams are hoping for better results during the upcoming season.
This year's matchup is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Rebels Field in Johntown, and Como-Pickton head coach Paul Tullis said it is important to get the team on the right track this year.
"I think it is important with this first games that we didn't win any games last year - and didn't win a lot of games the year before - so this first game is the most important to get out there and get on the right step," the coach explained.
"We need to get out there and try to get a victory more for the morale of the kids and to get the program in the direction that it needs to go."
Both teams come into the opener with new head coaches in Tullis at Como-Pickton and Terry Anderson, who coached last season at Clarksville.
"They have a new coach with Coach Anderson and I think he does a good job with them," Tullis said. "He is coming from Clarksville and they have changed their offense to the spread offense from the power-I and wing offense."
The Lions have two quarterbacks they could start in the opener in junior Jarod Davidson (5-7, 165) and Terrance Cannon, who Anderson said has great potential as a quarterback.
At receiver, the Rebels look to Derek Gallender, C.J. Landreth, Chad Proctor, Aaron Rolen and Ty Brown to use their height to play big roles in the first game.
"They looked really good on film against Ore City and Redwater in their scrimmages and look like they have some athletes at quarterback and they can run. They have some big receivers that can really catch the ball," Tullis said. "The main thing defensively will be that we have kids running to the ball and make sure that we play team defense and cover each other's mistakes."
Tullis hopes the players will play with the same fire and determination they have shown during the offseason and their scrimmages.
"One of the things that we need to do is make sure that we go out there and play with enthusiasm and really enjoy being out there playing," he said. "Last year, it seemed like we were going through the motions and there wasn't a whole lot of fire. I want to make sure that this season is fun for them and that they are enthusiastic going out there, and we need to be patient with the offense."
The offense this year under coordinator Ryan Aguirre will be centered around the running game of James Carter, Brandt Steele, Mitch Lowe and many others while also using the skills of quarterbacks Austin Darby and Noe Tellez.
"We are going to have to throw the ball to be successful," Tullis explained. "Our main thing is going to be running the football and to come at you and get out three-to-four yards a play and convert some third down opportunities."
He said one area of concern during the game will be how the special teams respond to live game situations since they have not faced another team during either scrimmage. Carter, Steele, Spencer Boyd and Jeff Hendricks will handle return duties.