There is an old expression in boxing: "Every man has a plan, until he gets hit." Friday the Pierce City Eagles football team learned firsthand about this expression as they lost 41-6 to the Miller Cardinals.
"We got outplayed," said Pierce City Coach Mac Whitehead. "Miller has great athletes and played harder than we did. I will take some of the blame, I thought we were ready to play. By the conclusion of the game it was apparent that we were not."
Each team scored on their third offensive possession. Miller went 65 yards in 8 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a Daniel Parscal one--yard touchdown run.
Pierce City countered with a Cedric O'Hara 32-yard touchdown pass to receiver Robert Baldwin that capped an 11-play, 79 yard drive that chewed 5:34 off the clock The two-point conversion failed.
Miller's quarterback Justin Jack scored on a three-yard run with 4:37 remaining in the first. Pierce City would advance the ball to the Miller 20 yard line but turn it over on downs with 1:21 left to play in the first half.
Miller would go 80 yards in nine plays scoring on a seven yard Jack to receiver Derrick Estell pass with 17 seconds remaining to take a 21-6 half time lead.
Jack finished the game 17 of 23 for 231 yards with two passing touchdowns.
"Miller didn't over scheme us," said Whitehead. "We knew what they were going to do and couldn't stop them. We will find out a lot about our squad this week. The choice is ours on how we respond."
The second half turnovers and penalties haunted the Eagles. Jack had a five-yard touchdown run. On Miller's next procession Jack threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Rhen Garner. Parscal completed the Cardinal's scoring with a two-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.
"We gave up too many big plays," said Assistant Coach Doug Weatherly. "Missed tackles killed us. We have got some work to do."
The Eagles are now in a do or die situation as they face Marionville this Friday. A win and the Eagles continue to have hope for the playoffs. If they lose, 10 games will be it for Pierce City.
"We control our own destiny," said Whitehead. "We need to move forward and remember the lesson that Miller taught us in this game."