If the SoBoCo Eagles win Friday’s football playoff game vs Wright City, they will set a school record with that eighth victory.
But the Eagles will be focusing on getting that record one possession, one play at a time.
“It’s the playoffs and everything, every play counts a little more,” said Eagles head coach Trent Tracy, “and we have to take care of the ball on every play.”
SoBoCo defeated Wright City in a rain-shortened game earlier this season by a 35-6 score. The Wildcats, who started the season 0-3, have rebounded a bit to go 3-3 in their last six games.
“They are a better team and they are giving a better effort,” Tracy said. “We knew that they were big and athletic – now they are playing harder and we can’t afford to look at this game like we are playing the same team we beat earlier.”
That said, the Eagles should be the favorites to win – if they play smart and don’t make mistakes.
“The Wildcats will show us a number of different offensive formations,” Tracy said, “our linebackers will have to read their keys well for us to stop them.”
Linebackers Tanner Smith and Cole Morris have been doing just that in recent games. Morris led the Eagles in tackles last week at Versailles (with 10) and Smith has made several big defensive plays in recent weeks.
On offense, the Eagles will work to dominate the ground game. Running backs Jackson Sartain and Cooper Mange have shown the ability to break long runs and as a running back Tanner Smith is good for two-to-four yards in every short yardage situation.
But it’s the Eagles passing game which will likely break this game open.
is one TD toss away from setting a new school career touchdown passing record – at 31 – which he will set in playing only one season as the full time starter and as a part-time QB as a junior. Taggart is also two TD passes away from setting a season record.
Taggart’s ability to see the entire field, get time from his offensive line and put the ball to his target has made him a success. His record-setting performance has come with few interceptions – the Osage game was really his only bad game in two years – and his consistency is proven in his ability to hit a variety of receivers: Sam Stichnote, Kolton Schupp, Zane Safely, Clay Jeffery and running backs Sartain and Cooper Mange.
Watch for Taggart to hit Schupp and Jeffery early in the game as the Wildcats will likely attempt to double team Stichnote.
However, Stichnote has a way of getting open and surely the combination of Taggart-to-Sam will break this playoff game open.
“I think it is going to be a good game – and we are hoping for a big crowd,” Tracy said.
A big crowd – a loud, big crowd – would get the Eagles going early. And an early lead generally leads to wins in high school football. This is likely the last chance for Eagles fans to see this year’s football team. With a 7-2 record, the SoBoCo Eagles have done the work and what they’ve needed to do to host a big playoff game. Now they need the fan support and to go out and win their eighth game of the season.
Southern Boone vs Wright City
7:00 p.m. Friday, October 21, 2016