Eagles look to bounce back against winless Tigers

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Oct. 5, 2007 - COMO - After watching the film of Friday's 58-17 loss to the Quinlan Boles Hornets, Como-Pickton first-year coach Paul Tullis found some areas the Eagles need to improve on heading into their final non-district game of the year.

He hopes the Eagles (2-2) play more as a team when they host the Blue Ridge Tigers (0-4) tonight at Ron Heflin Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"We weren't playing with our technique very much. On defense, I think we had 11 guys just trying to be individuals and we didn't play good team defense," the coach said. "On offense, I think we were too high most of the night. We are going to get back to fundamentals and technique and try to get better at that this week."

The Eagles will be without the services of sophomore running back Brandt Steele, who will be out 2-4 weeks after dislocating his shoulder last week. He has 25 carries for 175 yards in the first four games of the year.

"With him out, it is definitely going to hurt our running game because he was one of our best kids running the ball back there," Tullis said.

With the injury, sophomore James Carter and senior Mitch Lowe will take on a bigger role in the running game as Carter is averaging 6.4 yards per carry (86-547-3 TD), while Lowe is averaging 4.7 yards per carry (11-52-1 TD) for the Eagles.

"I don't know that it is going to put much pressure on James and Mitch," the coach said. "It means that James may not be able to get much rest and Mitch will not get much rest because we don't have Brandt to go in there for them."

With only 22 players on the varsity roster, Blue Ridge coach Joe Watson will be looking for his first win of the year. In last year's meeting between the two schools, Blue Ridge won 44-0 at home

The Tigers are led by senior quarterback Josh Webb and junior wide receiver Shane Williams on offense, while on defense senior tackle Zach McTee and senior end Brit Brooks will be players to watch. McTee had 93 tackles last year for the Tigers.

"Blue Ridge has some big kids and they look pretty fast and are physical, and I think this should be a good matchup this week," Tullis said. "It is important to get a win no matter if we are home or on the road. We need to be able to try and go out there and get a win."

He said offensively the Tigers will either be in the I-formation with some toss plays or they will run some misdirection plays.

"We have two films on them, and one week they were more or less in the I-formation and then in the other one they were running the offense that we saw last week versus Boles," he said. "I think they may try and go back to that some more this week."

Note: The Eagles are the only District 16-2A team playing a game tonight. Alba-Golden, Grand Saline, Hawkins, Quitman and Winnsboro all have byes as district play begins next week.

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