It Doesn't Get Easier: Eagles take on formidable Winnsboro tonight

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Oct. 26, 2007 - COMO - Como-Pickton head coach Paul Tullis knows tonight's contest will be the Eagles toughest test of the season against the high-powered offense of the Winnsboro Red Raiders.

Kickoff for the District 16-2A contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Ron Heflin Field.

"Winnsboro is big and explosive and they have a lot of speed," he said. "Our offensive and defensive line is really going to have to step up this week and find ways to stop them."

Finding ways to stop the Red Raiders will be no easy task as they are led by senior running back Chaz Baxter and junior tailback Zach Allen, who both scored touchdowns in their 60-14 win over Grand Saline one week ago. Against the Indians, Allen finished with 180 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while Baxter had a 73-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The Red Raiders (6-1 overall, 2-0 in district) have outscored opponents 316-97 this season and hold a 113-21 advantage in district play. Winnsboro has averaged 56.5 points in the first two district games, while allowing only 10.5 points per game.

After losing quarterback Jake Hawkins to graduation last year, the offense has relied on the arm of junior signal-caller Sean Ditto and the strong running game of Baxter, Tommy Evans and Allen.

The Eagles (3-4 overall, 0-2 in district) meanwhile come into the game averaging 19.3 ppg. in seven games and have operated out of the I-formation all year long. The Eagles use an aggressive midline veer behind the play of junior quarterback Austin Darby and senior quarterback Noe Tellez, who is fourth in rushing on the team this year.

"Austin will be the starter at quarterback this week since Everado Morales is still recovering from an injury," Tullis said. "We will probably keep Noe at tight end like we did last week. James (Carter) is still suffering from the turf toe, so we will go with Spencer (Boyd) and Mitch (Lowe) to help out with the running game once again.

"We are going to use the midline veer more this week with Austin at quarterback to hopefully open some things up against Winnsboro."

In seven games this season, Carter has scored five of the team's 17 touchdowns and has more yards this season than all of last year. The sophomore has 681 yards rushing on 113 carries, compared to 260 yards rushing one year ago.

In other district action, the Quitman Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0) will travel to Hawkins (2-5, 1-1), while Alba-Golden (2-5, 0-2) will host Grand Saline (2-5, 1-1). Both games are scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

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