Eagles look for second straight victory

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 21, 2007 - COMO - After a bye last week from competition, Como-Pickton head coach Paul Tullis was pleased with how the Eagles responded to the long break.

He hopes the focus will come back to the football field tonight as the Eagles (1-1) travel to Gilmer for a matchup with the Union Hill Bulldogs. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"We had a good week last week. I think the kids had a lot of fun and had a good week of practice," the coach said. "We had a couple of focus issues a couple of days that we had to get on to the kids about.

"We had to tell them that we need to be out there and have fun, but when it is time to get going and get work done, we need to do that. I think they responded well after the focus lesson."

Tullis said with the team able to break the 14-game winless streak in a 22-18 win over Celeste during Week 1 action, the team should come out fired up and more relaxed this week.

"Hopefully, we will come out and do good offensively against Union Hill. I think we learned a big lesson against Celeste in that second half," the coach said.

"I am pretty sure we are taking things one game at a time. I know the guys are excited about getting that first win, and we haven't won since I have been here. I think it takes a lot of pressure off of the kids and now they can relax and play a little bit and I think it will make it a little easier on them."

The Bulldogs come into tonight's game at 0-3 on the year with losses to Overton, Mount Enterprise and Cushing. Tullis said it comes as a surprise since they were a 10-3 regional quarterfinalist team one year ago.

"I think they have played some pretty good teams," Tullis said. "They have a really big offensive line and they come out low and hard. They do a good job of zone blocking and I think that is their strength."

He said tailback Maurice Moore will be a player the Eagles will need to concentrate on, along with quarterback Andy Schmidt and wide receiver Matt Caffey on offense.

"They have a tailback that is really good and has some good moves. We have to make sure that we keep him in sight," Tullis said. "Union Hill runs a lot of tackle-over and unbalanced stuff and we need to make sure that we get lined up correctly and make sure that we have everyone covered in the secondary."

The Eagles' backfield has played very consistent throughout the first two games of the year as Brandt Steele and James Carter have combined for 411 of the team's 461 yards rushing on 58 carries. Tullis said both players bring some thing different to the team.

"I have been really impressed with Brandt and James since they are so young right now," he said. "They are both good and have good speed being only sophomores. The main thing with Brandt is that he blocks so well and I don't think that gets picked up a whole lot. With James, he has great vision and is maturing quickly right now."

Tullis said the main emphasis for the Eagles this week has been protecting the football and making sure the players takes care of each other throughout the contest.

"I think the main thing we need to do this week is to eliminate mistakes," he said. "If we can take care of us and do everything that we are supposed to do, I think we will be all right and will go out and get a victory."

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