By Connor Mullins

            With the Eagles finally gaining some energy after beating the Midland Bulldogs 28-7 last Friday, the Eagles will take on the Richland Rebels this Friday at Richland’s stadium at 7:30. This game will be the first district game for both teams.

            “It’ll be momentum going in,” Eagles head coach Michael 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 labor. We’re ready and we’re looking forward to it.”

            Only three teams will make the playoffs. The Eagles district includes talented programs in the Weatherford, Euless, San Angelo, L.D. Bell. Haltom, and the Richland Rebels. Last year, San Angelo Central, Trinity, and Haltom all made the playoffs. The Eagles finished tied for fourth with Weatherford and Richland, while only beating L.D. Bell and Richland in district. The Eagles beat the Rebels 48-41 at Shotwell.

            “I haven’t really watched Richland, but they’re talented just like everybody else in district,” coach Fullen said. “It’ll be the same thing we’ve done all season.”

            Coach Fullen labeled senior running back Davonta Mayse his breakout performer on offense and senior defensive lineman Dylan Wright his breakout player on defense.

            “Richland will be tough to beat,” Mayse said. “But I feel like the team will come together and we’ll have a good chance of winning as long as we stay focused.”
            The Richland Rebels are 0-4 on the season having lost to the number nine Lone Star Keller Central, Rockwall-Heath, and number 37th Lamar. The Eagles outrank the Rebels in state, being 237th compared to the 526th ranked Rebels according to the MaxPreps website.

“Just taking each game one game at a time,” Wright said. “We have a good game plan for Richland.”
            Eagles junior running back Alphonzo Dotson will not play again this week due to injury, which will give senior Eric Abbe another chance to prove himself in a new position of running back. Abbe finished with 100 yards and three touchdowns against the Midland Bulldogs last week.

“I like it,” Mayse said. “He’s a cool dude and I’m glad he got a chance to shine last Friday.”
            Abbe had previously played at quarterback and battled for the spot with junior Matthew Ezzell prior to the matchup against the Bulldogs. But with Dotson now out at running back for the Eagles, Abbe can now look to build off his performance last Friday and score more touchdowns at his new position.

The Eagles coaching staff believes penalties are to blame for not being able to execute the way they wanted to so far this season.

“Penalties.  Dumb penalties,” coach Fullen said. “We need to work on just execution in general, but we can fix all that. The biggest thing is penalties right now. They are real drive killers for us.”

The Eagles now have playoffs set high on their goals for the rest of the season.

“I feel like making playoffs is a big goal for us and making state,” Mayse said. “But it’s one game at a time.”

The other player coach Fullen labeled as a breakout performer has similar goals.

“My goals for the rest of the year is to win district,” Wright said. “I want to keep getting better every week and just improve everyone around me while also improving myself.”

With the win against the Bulldogs last Friday and a big performance from Eric Abbe in the running game, the Eagles hope to gain their first win in district play and  make Richland 0-5, in their pursuit of a playoff spot. �^