Eagles getting ready for Saturday's battle with Patriots

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

Aug. 12, 2008 - COMO - With a full week of workouts under their belts, the Como-Pickton Eagles are getting ready for their first scrimmage of the year against the Pattonville Prairiland Patriots Saturday night.

With three days in full pads, coach Paul Tullis is optimistic about how the team has bounced back due to the weather and other problems from last week.

"The first day when we came out in pads we had that big rain storm," the coach said. "That kind of threw practice off a little bit and the kids wanted to go out there and hit each other. We got a little bit of work done that day, and then yesterday it rained a little bit during practice and we noticed the kids were dragging a little bit.

"I think that first week of practice took something out of the kids but they have rebounded and look better today. They are a little more crisp on all of their plays."

He said after getting a chance to see how the players have adjusted to the pads, he has seen some good things out of his offensive and defensive linemen.

"I think the ones we thought would be standing out are standing out today," he said. "Dylan Mowat is really looking good along with Hayden Howard and Robert Carden on the line."

Offensively, Tullis said he is seeing consistent workouts from tailbacks James Carter and Brandt Steele and senior quarterback Austin Darby. Another player that Tullis recognized after the first full week of practice is tight end Keith Anderson.

"We are also seeing good things from Keith Anderson as he is one of the biggest surprises so far," the coach said. "We expected to see good things out of him and we are really proud of him, and he is doing a great job."

The line will need to step it up this week as they will deal with dual-threat quarterback Dayne Sessums, split end Payne Schuelke, flanker Tanner Connot, center Jeremiah Howington, offensive tackle Brent Watson and tight end Chase Stogsdill.

"I think we have been getting a little bored with everything because we are just hitting ourselves," Tullis said of the workouts. "The kids are anxious and fired up and ready to hit somebody else this week, and I think that will be good for them to go and see something else."

During the scrimmage on Saturday, the Eagles and Patriots will start with the junior varsity at 6 p.m. and then the varsity will follow. He said he is expecting the first and second teams will see action for both groups.

"We are still working on things during practices and the scrimmages are more of a glorified practice," Tullis said. "We are going to run our basic stuff and I just talked with coach (Glen) Schuelke, and he told me what they are going to run defensively. We are slow today working on that because we have not run that defense very often.

"I think the guys are picking up all of the basic stuff, and I think that we are going to be fine with those plays."

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