The SoBoCo Eagles will face a familiar opponent in Friday’s Class 3 District 9 championship game – Goliath. Otherwise known as the Blair Oaks Falcons.
The Falcons, winner of multiple state titles, defeated the Eagles earlier this season by a 42-13 score in a game that got out of hand early.
But that was earlier in the season.
Now the Eagles are 9-2. They know the weapons Blair Oaks will have on Friday night and they know how to attack them.
Can they succeed?
Eagles coach Trent Tracy says his team’s performance in Friday’s 56-35 win over Christian should provide some clues.
“Blair Oaks is a very good team and we will have to do some of the things we did on Friday to have a chance in that game,” Tracy said.
The Eagles and Christian battled to a 21-21 first half tie, then SoBoCo came out in the second half and forced Christian to punt and drove down and put up a TD.
Then the Eagles exchanged turnovers with Christian, forced another punt and got another TD to put SoBoCo up 35-21.
“That was the turning point,” Tracy said. “We stopped them a couple of times in the third quarter and got up by two scores – that made the difference.
SoBoCo quarterback Spencer Taggart was 13-of-21 for 183 yards and two TDs and the Eagles ground attack had 393 yards, led by Jackson Sartain’s 8 carries for 140 yards and a touchdown. Tanner Smith had 10 bruising carries for 28 yards and 3 touchdowns.
If the Eagles are to compete with Blair Oaks on Friday, they will need to have a defense that will have the same “bend but don’t break” outlook. Tracy also said that the Falcons are an explosive team, but the Eagles defense will need to limit their “big play” ability.
That the Eagles are 9-2 and playing for the district title is a surprise to many. After returning only two starters on defense and having 17 seniors graduate, most picked the Eagles for the middle of the Tri-County Conference ladder. The Pigskin Picks annual magazine picked the Eagles to be 5-4, behind Blair Oaks, California and Eldon. Now, the Eagles are one of only 16 teams left in Class 3.
“Our guys have really bought into the program and worked hard, especially in the weight room,” Tracy added, “this group has moved the program forward.”