The Pierce City Eagles football team looks to continue what is turning into a very special season. Friday, they host the McAuley Warriors. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
The Eagles feature one of the most prolific offenses in the area, averaging 46.2 points per game. Their quarterback Cedric O'Hara, running back Cody Cox and fullback Curtis Palmer are averaging over 10-yards per carry.
|O'Hara has thrown the ball 40 times this year, completing 25 of those attempts for 439 yards.|
Of those completions nine have been for touchdowns. O'Hara has a quarterback rating of 118.6. By comparison, NFL quarterback Peyton Manning only has a 116.9 rating.
Despite the gaudy offensive statistics, Pierce City views itself as a defensively oriented team.
The starting varsity defensive unit has not been scored upon this season, and the junior varsity has only allow 19 total points in five games.
During last Friday's game at Jasper, the Eagles allowed one first down and that came via-penalty. Jasper was held to negative total yardage for the game (not including return yards).
|"We want our opponents to wake up on Saturday morning and still remember the hits our guys dealt the night before," said Eagles Defensive Coach Doug Weatherly. "We want 11hats flying to the ball in less than three seconds. We take defense serious, it's tradition. If you don't want to hit, you ain't gonna play."|
|If Pierce City has one area of concern, it would be on special teams kicking extra points. The Eagles are 11 of 19 on point-after touchdown tries.|
Never mind the fact that the Eagles this season have returned two kick offs for touchdowns, blocked four punts and have converted 10 of 12 two-point attempts. Pierce City must improve its kicking game.
The Eagles are not looking past McAuley.
"They want to spread the ball out and throw it around," said Head Coach Mac Whitehead. "On tape they run a speed sweep. That's where the receiver comes in motion, and the quarterback hands him the ball and he tries to use his speed to get around the corner of our line. Defensively, their style of play is very similar to ours. They play aggressive and blitz on nearly every down."
Even though Pierce City is off to such a great start to the season, there's still plenty to work to do.
"We need to have guys making plays away from the ball. That could be the quarterback carrying out a fake, linemen getting secondary blocks downfield away from the play and receivers running dummy routes," said Whitehead. "It all makes a difference.
"Offensively, we will still continue to open it up a little bit and throw the ball," Whitehead added. "We want to go vertical with our passing game, and we need to get Palmer a few more carries. Defensively, we want to explode to the ball and disrupt their timing."
Friday night is also homecoming for the Eagles.
"I think homecoming is an important tradition," Whitehead said. "The football homecoming sets the tone for the rest of the school year. I have told our boys to enjoy it and take part in every aspect of it.
"I also reminded my team of something my old coach used to say, 'Homecoming is a like a bottle of fancy perfume; it's packaged real nice, it comes in a shiny bottle and it smells good but don't drink it.' We still need to be focused on the game at hand."
Kick off is at 7 p.m. All fans are encouraged to attend.