The SoBoCo Eagles will be looking for their third straight win on Friday when they travel to Eldon.
For the Eagles defense, they will be challenged to stop the Mustangs scoring machine that rolled up more than 500 yards of offense and 72 points last week.
“They like to run the ball and control the clock,” said Eagles head coach Trent Tracy. “Last week, they got into a back-and-forth scoring thing,” he said of Eldon’s 72-69 win over Owensville.
Tracy said the game might be higher scoring than last year’s 14-7 game won by the Eagles, but he does not expect Eldon to repeat their 9-TD performance from a week ago.
“You have to realize that Eldon got a safety for two points at the end of the game and they converted on eight two-point conversions,” Tracy said.
Still, the Eagles will have to stop running back Isaiah Merida. The senior running back had Owensville defenders chasing him all over the field last week, however, the Eagles had some success containing North Callaway’s strong running back Adam Reno in Week 1 – at least enough to win.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles will need to limit some of the ball-handling mistakes they made last week. You can expect that to happen.
Quarterback Sam Stichnote was starting his first game as varsity quarterback – which is a little like having your first game of the season all over again. Also, by the fourth quarter, Stichnote was playing with a lot more confidence than the first quarter. Stichnote is an outstanding athlete with great hands and after a week of practice, you can expect the Eagles backfield to be at 100%.
And when the Eagles aren’t attempting to out-grind the Mustangs, you will likely see Stichnote throwing the ball.
Parker Boyce hauled in a 30-yard TD pass last week, on a perfectly thrown ball by Stichnote, and this week the Eagles will be facing a 5-2 Eldon defense in which the linebackers have zero pass responsibility.
“They will stack the box against us,” Tracy said, “and they will work hard to stop the run.”
That should provide opportunity for the Eagles to make the most of a short passing game early – look for Stichnote to throw to Boyce on short patterns and to Colby Phillips in the flat as he is coming out of the backfield. If Phillips makes a catch and turns it upfield, the Mustangs will be hard-pressed to bring him down.
The Eagles will also have the edge in special teams. Eldon does not have a kicker and will go for two-point conversions all night. Not only can the Eagles kick a field goal, their special teams recovered two onside kicks last week and has provided excellent punt and kick coverage in their first two games.
Look for another nail-biter, but the Eagles will go to 3-0 this week.
Prediction: Southern Boone 27 Eldon 24