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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Undefeated teams clash at Pierce City

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Embracing his new role. Pierce City's Cedric O'Hara moved from the quarterback to running back position and has thrived in his new position for the Eagles. O'Hara is averaging 237 yards rushing per game. [Photo by Tracy Osborn]
One thing is for certain after tonight's Pierce City football game against Sarcoxie; there will be one less undefeated team in Missouri.

Both the Eagles and the Bears enter the tilt with an unblemished 3-0 mark.

"We try not to think about our record," said Pierce City coach Matt Holt. "We know that if we take care of the things that we control and stick to our game plan our win-loss record will take care of itself."

Solid defense. Against Sarcoxie, the Pierce City defense will need more tackles like Garron Cantrell made against Jasper. Solid defensive play is a "must" in order for the Eagles to win tonight. [Photo by Tracy Osborn]
Tonight's gridiron matchup will be a clash of conflicting offensive styles.

The Eagles' offense features a balanced attack. Pierce City averages 344 yard rushing and 89 yards passing per game.

In contrast, the Bears are a true ground and pound offense averaging 395 yards rushing and only two pass attempts per game.

"Sarcoxie keeps the ball between the hashes," said Holt. "Our defensive line is going to have to shed their blocks and meet the running backs in the hole."

The Bears' backfield features a three-headed rushing monster.

Quarterback Conner Jones and running backs Logan Jones and Jade Bloss all average over 100 yards rushing per game. The trio has combined to score 12 touchdowns.

"I credit a lot of our success to our offseason workout program," said Sarcoxie coach Luke Rader. "I think it has helped us develop a team feel in the summer that has been carried on into this season."

Rader knows that the Bears will have their hands full with the Eagles.

"They are big up front," said Rader. "Their line will be better than any we have faced this season. Pierce City can spread you out and beat you with their speed."

The Eagles are averaging 41 points per game.

Running back Cedric O'Hara has put up video game like numbers in the first three contests.

O'Hara has rushed for 711 yards, averaging 13.94 yards per carry and scored 12 rushing touchdowns. As a team, the Eagles are averaging 12.17 yards per carry.

"We have scored a lot of points on big plays," said Holt. "We know that eventually we will have to work to get a score. However, when everyone executes big plays are bound to happen.'

Sarcoxie needs to do two things to be successful tonight.

1.On defense, stop the big play. Sarcoxie can't afford to let the Eagles score in one or two plays. The Bears offense is not built to win games in come-from-behind fashion.
2.Use its offense for defense. The Bears want to control the clock, limit Pierce City's touches. Four to six-minute drives are nearly as good as a score.

The Eagles keys to victory are equally as simple.

1.Take advantage of every scoring opportunity. The Eagles turned the ball over twice in the red zone against Jasper. Missed opportunities could lead to huge regret.
2.Deal with adversity. Sarcoxie has scored 30 points or more in each of its three games. Pierce City has yet to trail this season. The Eagles must impose their will.
3.Make the play. On defense, the first defender to the ball carrier must make the tackle. On offense, it is all about executing and moving the ball down the field.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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