Some might think Eagles’ coach David Fuhrer scheduled the game as a test for his team after the promising playoff run in 2010.
That wasn’t the case as Ellender was originally on the schedule this week, but the coach that agreed to the game resigned and didn’t tell the EHS principal that he had made the schedule.
Fuhrer was left with a hole in the non-district slate and called up WCHS coach Ferrante’ Dominique and got a top 10 matchup set up for the Eagles.
“It’s going to be a good game, they’re always in the thick of things,” Dominique said. “Coach Fuhrer does a great job of getting his guys prepared. We expect them to come out and play well, so we’re going to have to play it out and see how things go.”
It’s not the first time the two teams have met in recent years, but several new faces and much more experienced familiar faces will take the field tonight.
One of the more experienced players is among the elite running backs in the state — Tyre Brackins. Against Glen Oaks last week the senior had two touchdowns and 161 yards in the first half and didn’t play the second half.
“The last time they beat us Brackins was a freshman, I believe,” Fuhrer said. “And he had a really good game against us that night. They had another running back that’s playing at ULM. He’s built a program with good backs, good athletes. So, yeah, it’s a big game. A real big game.”
In the season opener against Loreauville, the Eagles allowed 180 yards rushing and a touchdown against the starting running back Nick Julien. The CCHS defense locked down in the red zone and held the Tigers scoreless in the second half, which will need to happen again tonight if the Eagles are to have a shot at an upset.
“(It worries me) a little bit,” Fuhrer said. “We made some mistakes that we worked on this week to correct those misalignments and some of the things we did wrong defensively. We knew (Julien) was a good back. Good backs are going to get their yards. We just have to play them the best we can and not let him go wild. We need to do the best we can to contain him, but they have some other athletes — so we have to make sure we have a solid defensive effort.”
Last week Lloyd Grogan was active at linebacker and was in on numerous tackles including a forced fumble on a hard hit that jarred the ball loose from Julien and resulted in a turnover.
Dominique wasn’t familiar with Grogan’s name, but said he isn’t worried about any individual player.
“I don’t even know who the fellow is,” Dominique said. “We just watch film and hopefully everybody takes care of their assignments. I don’t know if that’s their star guy, but we’ve got a pretty good offensive line. We just play assignment football, we’re not going to single anybody out. Normally we run at the best player.”
If Grogan plays defense the way he did against Loreauville, he just might have a chance to slow down Brackins and force the Bulldogs to spread the ball around.
It’s too early for either team to be in must-win mode, but the winner of tonight’s game will make a statement to the rest of Class 1A that they are a contender.
“It’s a big one, we’ve been preparing all week,” CCHS quarterback Josh Singleton said. “We had Labor Day off from school and teacher in-service on Tuesday. I think our team is ready to roll. We should be on top of our game.”