Eagles seek 5-0 start to season

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Jackson Kleiboeker picks up a fumble for the Eagles during varsity action this season. Jacob Brower/jbrower@monett-times.com

Miller stands in the way of perfection

The last time the Pierce City football team carried a state ranking and perfect record into a match with Miller was Oct. 15, 2010.

When the dust settled, it was the Cardinals that celebrated a 41-6 victory.

Hunter Tindell secures a tackle for the Eagles during varsity action. Jacob Brower/jbrower@monet-times.com

On Friday, the Eagles are aiming to avoid a repeat of history as the take a 4-0 record and a No. 7 state ranking back to play the 1-3 Cardinals.

“They like to spread the ball around in five-wide sets,” said Brad Hocker, Pierce City coach. “Our secondary will have to be able to pick their man up at the point of attack.”

Miller is under the direction of alumnus Jamie LaSalle. LaSalle inherited a young roster of talent and if history is any indication, he will turn the program around. LaSalle has made stops at Greenfield, Mt. Vernon, Marionville and East Newton and found success on the gridiron at each school.

The Eagles, unlike the last time they took a perfect record into the rivalry game with Miller, are more balanced in their attack. Quarterback Gage Brown is 28-of-38 passing (73 percent) for 502 yards and 5 touchdowns.

The Eagles’ rushing attack is spurred by Trey Sagehorn, who is averaging more than 17 yards per carry, 33 totes for 586 yards, and has seven

touchdowns. In total, the Eagles have rushed for 1,135 yards on the year.

“We have to take care of the ball and be physical if we want to win,” Hocker said. “We have a plan that we believe we can execute to win the game.”

Miller is averaging 29 points per game offensively, but they are giving up 51 points per game. The Eagles are averaging 41 points per game and surrendering just 6 points per contest on average.

Keys to the game

• Get big

The Eagles have a chance to overpower the younger Cardinals. With experience on the offensive line, look for Pierce City to establish the ground game early and often.

• Finish what you start

There is still some question as to whether Pierce City can play a full four quarters. The Eagles want to put this game away early and not allow Miller to hang around.

• Ball security

For all of their on-field success, the Eagles still have an issue with turnovers. While they have not cost the team a game this season, they need to solve the problem before they do.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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