Eagle coach wants fewer mistakes against Quitman

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Oct. 19, 2007 - COMO - After a district-opening loss to the Hawkins Hawks last week at home, Como-Pickton head coach Paul Tullis wants to see his team make fewer mistakes against the Quitman Bulldog tonight in Quitman.

Against Hawkins, the Eagles had 40 yards of penalties and a passing game that went 3-of-12 for 71 yards in a 35-20 loss.

"We have to eliminate the mistakes that we made the other night," he said. "Hawkins played a good game and had a good gameplan but a lot of things that hurt us were things that we did to ourselves. We dropped a lot of balls and had some penalties when we should haven't had penalties.

"We need to make sure that we are taking care of us to do what we need to do to make sure that we are successful."

The Eagles (3-3) look to even up their district record against the Bulldogs with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Last year, the Bulldogs defeated CPHS, 42-14, at Ron Heflin Field.

"Like I have said in the past, every game is really important to us now since we have started district play," the coach said. "Our goal is still to make the playoffs and we need to get some wins to be able to do that."

In six games this year, Quitman's (5-1 overall, 1-0 in district) defense, led by linebacker Blaine Shackelford and cornerback Lance Evans, has held opponents to 98 points.

For the Eagles to pick up a win tonight, they want to pound the ball with sophomore running back James Carter and senior fullback Mitch Lowe. They also need the passing game of senior quarterback Noe Tellez, as he is averaging 37-percent passing (17-of-46) on the season.

"I think on offense we need to be patient and run our offense," Tullis said. "I think banging the ball at them - even though they are big and strong - I think there are some gaps that we can be all right with."

The Bulldogs run the same offensive scheme as the Eagles as the running game will be the main focus for both teams.

The Bulldogs will likely run the midline veer and use a heavy dose of tailback Doug Carden, along with quarterback Colten Peek and wide receivers Shackelford and Hayes Peckham.

Tullis said the main key for the Eagles this week during practice was to improve on their assignment defense to make sure they stay out of bad situations.

"Quitman's offense is similar to us in that they are going to put two backs in there," Tullis said. "They will go two tight ends and a wingback and try to bang it in there on you. They will try to beat you down and that is what we will see.

"We are going to have to be more physical up front then we have been in the past. I think a lot of the times that we play teams with the spread they think we have to be finesse and play here and there instead of being physical."

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