The SoBoCo Eagles will need to play smarter and more physical football this week if they want to get back on the winning track.
The Eagles host rival Hallsville in Ashland at 7 p.m. The Booster Club hosts BBQ plate dinners beginning an hour before the game.
“Rivals? Yeah, this is a rivalry game,” said Eagles coach Trent Tracy, “they lead this series 5-4 and that is part of what makes a good rivalry – one team doesn’t win all the time.”
The Eagles won easily last year by a 41-0 score, but don’t expect Hallsville to be so out-manned this season.
The Indians are 2-1 themselves – defeating Putnam County and Mark Twain and losing last week to Osage – and have some talented skills players to go with some physical, but not really big, linemen.
“They will run some out of the wing formation and run some misdirection,” Tracy said of the Indians offense. A key this week for our defense is to read their keys and line up in the right gaps. We had some defensive players on some plays last week lining up in the wrong place.”
Quarterback Zane Parnell has some size and can throw the ball and he will look to get the ball into the hands of No. 23 DQ Smith all night long.
Eagles linebackers will have to look for and contain Smith and receiver No. 7 BJ Fisher. The Eagles defensive backfield will be challenged by Parnell – especially if the Eagles are ahead and Hallsville is forced to pass in order to catch SoBoCo. A key for the Eagles defense could be the defensive play of linebacker Cooper Mange and safety Sam Stichnote. Look for both of them to lead the Eagles’ defense tonight.
On offense, the Eagles will likely be without leading running back Jackson Sartain, but will plug junior Colby Phillips into the backfield.
Look for Phillips, Cooper Mange and Tristan John to pound the ball into the line as the Eagles work to control the line of scrimmage.
Last week, the Eagles were manhandled at Eldon, look for them to re-assert their offensive line’s ability to push the ball downfield against the smaller Hallsville squad.
We think the Eagles offensive line rises to the occasion and whips the Indians up front. Look for the Eagles to even up this topsy-turvy rivalry.
Prediction: SoBoCo 37 Hallsville 21