Como-Pickton plans on using running game to slow down powerful Boles

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 28, 2007 - COMO - For the second time in four weeks, the Como-Pickton Eagles look to be spoilers tonight as they travel to Quinlan for a homecoming contest against the Boles Hornets.

Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Eagles (2-1) come into Friday's contest riding a two-game winning streak with wins over Celeste and Union Hill, and first-year head coach Paul Tullis said he has been pleased with the work ethic of his players.

"So far, the season has been going really good," the coach said. "The kids have been responding to everything the coaches have asked them to do. They believe that they can play with just about anybody and as long as we have that, we are going to go out and be okay."

Tonight's game against Boles (3-0) will be a challenge for the Eagles as the Hornets have outscored opponents 141-20 in their first three games of the season.

Como-Pickton wants to come out and score early in the game as it has been a tale of two halves this season. The offense has scored only 20 points in the first half, compared to 42 points in the second half .

"Of course you always want to start strong and score a lot of points early," Tullis said. "I think the style of offense that we play with pounding the ball wears people out and that is why I think we look better in the second half then we do in the first half."

CPHS look to slow down junior running back Joe Gilliard - who rushed for 1,287 yards and 21 touchdowns one year ago - along with fullback Robert Liedel and quarterback Daniel Sanchez.

"They are pretty good and they are really good on offense. They have this one little Z-back (Gilliard) that plays the slot and they run a lot of plays to him," he said. "They use a lot of misdirection plays, so it is hard to get reads with your linebackers and secondary guys. They put a lot of pressure on you defensively to try and find ways to stop them.

"I think a lot of times when we have had breakdowns on defense it has been everybody trying to do everyone else's job. We need to calm down and relax and do what we are supposed to do and then we will be okay."

The Eagles offense will continue to pound the ball in hopes of keeping the Hornets offense off of the field. The Eagles are led by sophomore running back James Carter, freshman running back Brandt Steele and senior fullback Mitch Lowe. Carter has rushed for 421 yards on 57 carries with three touchdowns, while Steele has 22 carries for 159 yards in three games.

Tullis said with the talented defensive line of Boles, the Eagles offensive line needs to play smart throughout the game to give the running backs some room to run.

"Defensively, their defensive line is good and they played hard and find ways to come through the line," he said. "The linebackers also find ways to come over the top throughout the game. We are going to make sure that we play with good technique. We will try to play our position and do what we are supposed to do and play as a team."

Note: C-P senior quarterback Noe Tellez, who was injured on the opening series of last week's game against Union Hill, had six stitches in his left hand on Saturday. The injury will not affect him in the game tonight since it is his non-throwing hand. He is scheduled to start at quarterback.

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