Eagles don't show what coach wants to see in loss to Quitman

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Oct. 21, 2007 - QUITMAN - First-year coach Paul Tullis saw the opposite of what he was looking for from his Como-Pickton Eagles at Bud Moody Stadium Friday night.

The Quitman Bulldogs (6-1 overall, 2-0 in district) wrapped up their homecoming festivities with a commanding 41-6 win in District 16-2A.

Quitman capitalized on three CP turnovers, had over 400 yards of total offense (412) while holding the Eagles to 192 yards and committed four turnovers of their own in the win.

"I think defensively we were a little timid tonight and I think we were worried about making mistakes instead of getting out there and playing," Tullis said. "At halftime, we told the guys to go out there and have fun and play.

"In the second half, I think they did that and they (Quitman) scored only once in the second half. We got some interceptions and some turnovers and the guys went out and hit hard in the second half."

The Eagles had interceptions from Austin Darby, Noe Tellez and Aaron Kramer, and Tullis said the defense stepped up in the second half.

"They tried to steal our play and motion the guy out, because we run that play, and Darby saw that and picked it off," the coach said. "Noe made a nice play on the back for his interception, and on Aaron's, they overthrew the guy and Kramer had great technique and picked the ball off."

In the first half, the Eagles defense had a tough time finding ways to contain the high-powered Bulldog offense as Quitman scored on five of its first six drives of the half. None of those drives went more than four plays from scrimmage.

On the Bulldogs' opening drive, senior tailback Doug Carden capped off a four-play drive with a 53-yard touchdown scamper on fourth-and-1 down the Quitman sideline. Refugio Zavalla booted his first of five PATs for the 7-0 lead.

The Bulldogs did not waste any time on their second drive as they started the possession in Como-Pickton territory with another four-play drive as junior Lance Evans broke free for a 19-yard touchdown run with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter.

Evans found a seam on their next drive as he scampered for a 46-yard gain down to the CP 1-yard line. Two plays later, he powered his way from 2 yards out with 11:08 remaining in the half. Evans was the game's leading rusher with 12 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

Following a fumble by James Carter on the Eagles' next drive, the Bulldogs scored in two plays as quarterback Colten Peek went 2-for-2 during the drive and found Blaine Shackelford for a 1-yard touchdown reception.

The Eagles (3-4, 0-2) put together their best drive of the night with a nine-play, 62-yard drive as they converted two fourth-down conversions to keep the drive alive.

On fourth-and-5 from the CP 43-yard line, Darby found James Carter for a 21-yard gain and then on fourth-and-4 from the Bulldogs 30-yard line, Darby found Tellez for a 27-yard gain. Darby then powered his way in on the quarterback keeper for the 27-6 deficit. The Eagles went for two but were stopped short of the goal line.

Quitman took a 34-6 lead into the locker room, scoring on a three-play drive led by an explosive 45-yard run from Carden down to the Eagles' 10-yard line. Peek then scored on the quarterback option with 1:51 remaining in the half.

The Bulldogs scored one final time in the third quarter as Peek scored his second touchdown with a 10-yard quarterback keeper.

The Eagles were led by senior fullback Mitch Lowe, who had 16 carries for 57 yards, while Darby had 15 carries for 48 yards and one touchdown. Carter was held to 27 yards on six carries as he is still suffering the effects of a turf toe injury two weeks ago.

"Off and on, his toe did bug him and we had to let him rest throughout the game and then he could get back in and run," Tullis said. "The offense is still a work in progress and the option is still going to be a part of our game. We haven't got as far along with the option as we would like to, so we are working on that and we will get better at it."

The Eagles will look to get back into the win column Friday night as they host the Winnsboro Red Raiders at 7:30 p.m. at Ron Heflin Field.

Winnsboro comes into game with a 6-1 record overall and 2-0 in district following a 53-7 win over the Alba-Golden Panthers Friday night.

"We need to go out there and play and have fun," Tullis said. "We need to play with a lot of emotion and do what we can. We knew it was going to be tough coming in here and next week will probably be even tougher with Winnsboro. We are going to have to try to hang in there and make some plays and hopefully we will get a couple of breaks and have a chance to win the game."

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