The youth and inexperience of the Eads Football team was on show during their home opener on Friday night in Eads as they struggled to maintain their composure losing, 54-14, to a mature Otis Bulldog group full of juniors and seniors. However, the heart of the Eagles was still there as they never quit despite being beaten up pretty good by the physical Bulldogs.
Eads starts only one player who has seen any significant time on the 6-Man grid iron where the hits are harsh, at best, and the endurance of sprinting up and down the field is a necessity beyond anything else. Trevor Randel, one of the seniors, is that “experienced” player, as he saw the field at least half of the time last year. During the home opener on Friday night, the senior showed he has a lot of heart as he battled cramping and a bum ankle through the contest. Otis was definitely keyed in on the 160 lb. running back hitting him hard on each and every carry.
Two more seniors are on the field with Randel including Trey McDowell who is no chump when it comes to running the ball. The big senior proved he has the speed to be a threat scoring both of the Eagles’ touchdowns. McDowell was injured throughout last season so he has seen no real time on the field until this year. The third senior is Damian Hernandez, another player who has not played a lot, but who has some good speed and good hands to go along with it. The rest of the team is full of inexperience and includes junior Gary Davis, an athletic defensive player, and sophomore Angel Medina, a big lineman who has good agility. The rest of the team consists of freshmen who was initiated through fire on Friday night. Brigden Parker starts at the QB position and Zack Fowler is the nose guard.
Otis would score first midway through the first quarter as junior running back Ty Hunt found the end zone in a short run. The PAT was no good and Otis led, 6-0. However, the youngsters from Eads came battling back when Randel had a big open-field run that put Eads on the 5-yard line. McDowell would punch it in from there. The Eagles’ kicking game is also a work in progress, so head coach Trey Eder elected to go for one point on the conversion; and it worked giving Eads the lead with three minutes left in the first, 7-6. However, senior Tate Goble then turned up the pressure and would score on a long carry at the start of the second quarter. Once again, the PAT was no good and Otis had the advantage 12-7 over Eads. But when Hernandez caught a long Parker pass putting Eads near the end zone for a second time in the half, McDowell used his strength to punch the ball in. Again, the PAT point was earned and Eads had the lead for a short moment, 14-12. But a successful pass play in the waning seconds for the first half allowed Tyler Thorn, an Otis senior, to score and to gain the lead at halftime, 18-14, over Eads.
Starting the second half Eads looked good as they got down close to their goal line before they fumbled it away. Another costly interception and all of a sudden Otis was barreling their way past Eads with tremendous speed. Junior speedster, Bryce
Miracle, was nearly a one-man show in the second half as the Eagles had no answer for the swift-footed backer. Eads looked tired and a little hesitant throughout the second half, and Otis would dominate all aspects of the game. Thorn even wowed the crowd by kicking a 40-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter.
No stats were available as of press time.
Eads will have another tough assignment this week at home as they will host the Genoa-Hugo/Karval team that has one all-state player suited up. Coach Eder has his work cut out for him in order to prepare the youngsters for what is expected to be a large crowd full of Eads alumni. Genoa-Hugo/Karval was demoralized by Stratton-Liberty last week, so they will be looking for the first win, as well. Game time is 7 pm at the Eads Field.