By Connor Mullins
The Abilene High Eagles lost to the Weatherford Kangaroos 43-14 on Friday night at Weatherford Stadium. The 40 degree weather and freezing rain didn’t help the Eagles, but Eagles head coach does not believe that was the reason behind the loss.
“No it wasn’t the weather,” Fullen said. “We just got outplayed.”
However, Eagles middle linebacker Marqus Franklin, senior, has a different story on the weather..
“It was [a factor] but once we got going we got warm,” Franklin said. “I think it was a big factor for our receivers and quarterback because they’re not used to playing in cold weather, so I think it really affected them.”
Eagles quarterback Matthew Ezzell finished 10 of 23 for 79 yards. Kangaroos quarterback Ken Seals and running back Dezmond Forrest totaled for 472 of the Kangaroos 499 total yards of offense. Seals finished the night 17-24 for 257 passing yards and a touchdown while Forrest had 28 carries for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
“We felt good coming into this game coming off a big win versus Haltom and coming into this stadium against their three-star quarterback [Ken Seals],” Eagles middle linebacker Xavier Graves, senior, said. “He’s a good player, we knew he was gonna make plays and that he had the receivers to make plays but we just came out here and did our best to stop him.”
The Kangaroos got off to a quick start leading 29-6 at halftime. Eagles running back Phonzo Dotson had a 33 yard TD in the first quarter, but the extra kick was blocked. The Eagles failed to score again until a 47 yard pick six by safety Colton Wilson in the third quarter.
“I don’t think we came out ready to play a ball game,” Franklin said. “Practice hasn’t been great at all this week and it carried over to this Friday. It showed on the field and we didn’t play our best.”
Franklin is currently battling a high ankle sprain injury and was limited in gametime on Friday. Franklin leads the Eagles in sacks with five this year and is second on the team in tackles with 61.
“I was ready to go if I needed to,” Franklin said. “It’s still not 100 percent so this next week I’ll be getting rehab everyday getting for Trinity which is a must-win game. It’s difficult sitting on the sidelines because I always want to make plays and be in the game but sometimes things don’t go your way and you gotta be the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines for your team or be a coach on the sideline to help everybody out.”
The Eagles currently sit fifth in District 3-6A behind Weatherford, Richland, Central, and Trinity. The Eagles take on the Trinity Trojans this Friday at Shotwell Stadium in their final game of the season and will have to win that game if they want to have a chance at playoffs.
“It’s just a hard loss but we’ll bounce back next week,” Graves said. “[I want Eagles fans to know] that we’re still in the run [for playoffs]. Don’t give up on us. We’ll make you proud.”
- Eagles RB Phonzo Dotson had seven carries for 46 yards and a TD and RB Esai Jacques had five carries for 28 yards.
- Eagles QB Matthew Ezzell went 10 of 23 for 79 yards with WR Tre Phillips gaining six of Ezzell’s passes for 47 of the 79 yards
- The Eagles only had six first downs all night
- Kangaroos QB Ken Seals (who’s committed to Vanderbilt) went 17 of 24 for 257 yards and a TD
- Kangaroos RB Dezmond Forrest gained 215 yards on 28 carries and three TD’s
- Kangaroos WR Nicholas Schwikal had four catches for 106 yards and a TD
- The Kangaroos outgained the Eagles in total yards with 499 to the Eagles 135.
- Eagles safety Colton Wilson capitalized on Seals’ only mistake of the night returning an interception 47 yards for a TD
- The Eagles made 54 tackles on the night with a season-high seven tackles for a loss
- The Eagles secondary only had one deflected pass against Seals but forced an interception