You could feel a different attitude during pre-game warm-ups. The look in the eyes of the Pierce City players was unmistakable; they were ready to play. The Eagles soundly defeated the Skyline Tigers 40-0 Thursday night.
|Pierce City scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, building a 27-0 half-time advantage. In the first half, the Eagles won the time of possession battle by keeping the ball on offense for 15:05 of the half's 24 minutes.||"I am very pleased with our team's performance," said Pierce City Head Coach Mac Whitehead. "We had a good week of practice. We came out focused and prepared."|
Pierce City established the pace early, marching 11 plays, 57 yards, in 4:52 on its opening drive. Eagles' running back Curtis Palmer punched the ball in from a yard out to give the Eagles an early 7-0 lead.
On the Eagles' ensuing drive, they drove 37 yards in nine plays, chewing 3:39 off the clock. Pierce City would use a quick strike to score on its next series. Quarterback Cedric O'Hara connected with receiver Mitchell Gibson on a 62-yard pitch and catch.
Pierce City running back Cody Cox would find the endzone on a 40-yard jaunt capping an 11-play, 72-yard 5:37 drive to complete the scoring in the first half.
"We went back to a very basic game plan tonight," said Whitehead. "I thought tonight was our offense's best overall performance. We challenged our offensive linemen to play hard, and they answered the bell."
The Eagles would add two scores in the second half. The first on a Cox 12-yard run and the second on a Trenton Boykin 51-yard fumble recovery.
"I haven't scored a touchdown since pee-wee football," said a winded Boykin. "For a (defensive) lineman that's a long run."
While the Eagles' offense found itself Thursday night, their defense continued to show why it's one of the best in the area. Skyline never crossed the Eagles' 30-yard line, and Pierce City forced three Tiger turnovers and registered three sacks.
"A good offense puts people in the seats," said Whitehead. "A good defense puts championship rings on the fingers. Doug (Weatherly) and Kenny (O'Hara) do a tremendous job preparing our defense week in, week out. I can't even begin to tell you how much they mean to this program and the great job they do with the kids."
The win catapults Pierce City into the Missouri Class 1 playoffs and sets up a rematch with the Greenfield Wildcats. The Eagles defeated Greenfield 43-6 earlier this season.
"It's nice that we can go back and review our notes from our game earlier this year." added Whitehead. "It is going to be a battle. Even though we beat them earlier this season, they are going to be ready for the rematch. It is hard to beat the same team twice in the same season. We'll be ready."
Kick-off next Wednesday in Greenfield is at 7 p.m.