The Eagles beat the Midland Bulldogs 28-7 on Friday night, Sept. 19, at Grande Stadium in Midland. This win gave first year Eagles head coach Michael Fullen his first win as a head coach. This was the Eagles final non-district game of the season, with district play to begin next week against the Richland Rebels (0-4). 

 “It was awesome,” Fullen said. “It felt like getting a monkey off my back. It was great for the kids too because they’re the ones putting in all the work. It was just a great feeling.”

In the last game against Cooper, the Eagles offense struggled to be efficient in the red zone. But with junior running back Alphonzo Dotson being sidelined due to injury this game, Fullen made the decision to move senior quarterback Eric Abbe to running back. This move paid off in a win for the Eagles. Abbe finished the game with 3 rushing touchdowns in his first start at running back.

“We knew he was a good football player and that we could move him around to utilize his talent in different ways,” Fullen said. “But he did really good.”

Junior quarterback Matthew Ezzell made his first start at quarterback for the Eagles last night.

“He was good,” Fullen said. “He kinda let some balls sail on him early on but he calmed down and managed the offense really well.”
            Ezzell and the Eagle offenses execution was much improved against the Bulldogs compared to the Cooper game last week.

“We had execution in all 3 phases, offense, defense and special teams, for four quarters and our defense played lights out,” Fullen said. “They kinda kept us in the game to where our offense could get on a rhythm early on. We played really well and our special teams were really good.”

The Eagles defense shut out the Bulldogs until less than 2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

“We’re pretty gritty and we fight,” Fullen said. “We’re mean. I don’t like to say that but we’ll fight ya hard. This team is incredibly resilient because they could’ve folded like a tent after the first three games but they show up every day and work really hard.”

With the first win of the season, the Eagles are now 5 wins away from getting 700 wins in school history.

“That’s exciting because I’ve been apart of wins 500 and 600,” Fullen said. “It’s unique and I’ll probably be the only coach to ever do that here. It’s a neat deal.”

The Eagles will begin district play against a team they beat 48-41 at Shotwell last year. The Richland Rebels haven’t had a great start to their season going 0-4 in non-district play.

“I haven’t really watched Richland, but they’re talented just like everybody else in our district,” Fullen said.

With district play starting next week, the win over Midland will provide much needed boost going into district play.

“It’ll be momentum going in,” Fullen said. “That’s what we want to get because the season starts over now. It’s good to have some momentum and fruits of your hard labour. We’re ready and we’re looking forward to it.”

Game Notes:

  • Senior running back Eric Abbe finished the game with 3 rushing touchdowns and 100 rushing yards
  • Junior quarterback Matthew Ezzell finished 17 of 27 for 168 yards
  • The Eagles offense finished with 297 total yards of offense
  • The Eagles defense finished the game with 67 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 quarterback hurries, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception
  • Junior wide receiver Jeshari Houston leads the team in receiving yards with 191 yards and a touchdown
  • Senior outside linebacker Jorge Hernandez now has 40 total tackles on the season
  • Senior cornerback Nathaniel Jones caught the only interception on the night

By Connor Mullins