Eagles Pound T-Birds in Opener
The SoBoCo Eagles overcame their first quarter jitters and delivered 21 unanswered points in the second quarter for a commanding halftime lead.
SoBoCo quarterback Spencer Taggart found Sam Stichnote in the end zone for another TD on initial drive of the third quarter and the Eagles rolled to a 48-20 win.
SoBoCo, 1-0 to start the season, travels to Wright City next week for a district game before starting their Tri-County Conference schedule.
Taggart could not find a receiver three throws of the game before hitting Kolton Schupp late in the first quarter. But Taggart was more than accurate enough the rest of the game.
The Thunderbirds stacked the box in anticipation of a Tanner Smith-Jackson Sartain-Colby Phillips running game. But when the T-birds contained Phillips to the outside and stopped Smith in just three yards, Taggart spread out the offense and had a number of open receivers.
“Once he got hit a couple of times, Spencer gained confidence in himself and his line and he did a good job of getting the ball to multiple receivers,” said Eagles coach Trent Tracy.
Stichnote went high in the air to grab a pass for 22 yards late in the first quarter to get the Eagles to the North Callaway 23-yard line. He then hit Schupp on a 2nd & 20 play that put the Eagles on the 13-yard line, leading to Tanner Smith’s 3-yard dive for the first score.
Schupp gathered in a Taggart pass in the flat two possessions later and picked his way down the sideline for a 29-yard scored to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
After stopping the Thunderbirds and time slipping away in the first half, the Eagles went 27-yards in five plays with Taggart hitting Clay Jeffrey for a 17-yard scored with 56-seconds left in the half.
Stichnote’s TD to open the third period made it 28-0 and was one of a number of highlights on the evening for the Eagles sophomore. Stichnote caught a TD pass, had two interceptions and recovered a fumble – and credited his teammates for each of the plays.
“My teammates tipped those balls,” Stichnote said of the interception, “and I had the easy part, just catching them. They all helped me out and played a great game tonight.”
Cooper Mange scored ran 53-yards for an Eagles score and Tagggart found Jeffrey again in the end zone for his second TD pass with 10:34 left in the game to make the score 45-20.
As if the Eagles ground game and passing highlights weren’t enough, SoBoCo’s kicking game was outstanding. Sophomore Parker Boyce hit all six extra points and two field goals – from 26- and 22-yards – and made it look easy.
Tracy said winning first games was a bonus.
“The thing about the first game of the season is that you can see what kind of competitive team you have and what you need to work on,” Tracy said.
Tracy on Stichnote – “We did like the mismatch (in size) we got with Sam on their DBs and tried to set that up,” Tracy said. “He’s only a sophomore and he was out here making plays all over the place.”
Tracy on Boyce – “We knew last year Parker was going to be a good kicker for us last year. He worked hard all summer, going to camps and coming out here on the field kicking. A lot of high school coaches don’t have that luxury of kicking a field goal.”
Tracy on linebacker Cole Morris – “He’s just a blue collar guy and has done a great job of learning to read his blocks. He was in on a lot of tackles tonight and I was proud of the way he played.”