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Kicker boots FC into semi-finals

Playing in their first playoff game in 11 years, the Eagles played like annual playoff contenders, pulling out a gutsy 23-20 win over Parlier on Nov. 15. The Eagles now prepare in earnest for their upcoming Sierra League semi-final game with Immanuel on Nov. 22.

While the outcome of the Parlier game was the same as all 10 previous regular season games, the style with which the Eagles won with was entirely different. During the regular season the Eagles regularly blew out their opponents with the exception of the 18-13 game against Immanuel on Aug. 30.

In foggy conditions, the Eagles found themselves playing Parlier, in what Rene Charest, ’04, called an “ugly game.”

“That was a really bad game for both teams,” Charest said. “But now we’re just looking ahead to Immanuel and hope to learn from our mistakes.”

Head coach Jon Hall says his team will be prepared to face Immanuel for the second time this season.

“This is probably the biggest game in school history,” Hall said. “They’ll be looking for revenge after we beat them last time.”

The Eagles can thank Josh Risch, ’03, for the opportunity to even play Immanuel. It was Risch who kicked the game winning 27-yard field goal as time expired.

“I was nervous before the kick,” Risch said. “But I knew I could make it because I have hit that in practice every day.”

Colby Hunter, ’03, once again made a large contribution for the Eagles, rushing 8 times for 118 yards, as well as catching 3 passes for 90 yards. Hunter’s efforts were enough for him to be nominated as Channel 47 sports player of the week. To vote online, go to Votes will be accepted as late as Nov. 20.

Hunter and quarterback Sam Fisher, ’03, teamed also teamed up for Channel 30 tv’s play of the week when Hunter dove into the endzone for a 22-yard TD reception that tied the game early in the second quarter.

Fisher threw for 158 yards, going 11-17 with 1 interception. He ran for 2 TDs and 66 yards.

Perhaps Hunter’s biggest play came at the end of the game, when he scampered 53 yards to put the Eagles within Risch’s range.

“Our offensive line came up huge from a running perspective,” Hunter said. “I was fortunate to get a lot of touches which gave me a chance to pick up a lot of yards running. However, its all about playing Immanuel next. We need to be sharp to beat them again.”

Justin Shanen, ’04, who had two catches for 23 yards as well as making a crucial interception, is confident about the upcoming game.

“We’ll be well prepared for Immanuel,” Shanen said. “We’ll be watching for (Jacob) Wild and the rest of the receivers. We plan on keeping them in check.”

“The first five minutes of the game will probably decide it,” Hunter said. “It’s gonna come down to who plays better defense.”

The Eagles will take their 11-0 record to Clovis Highs’ Lemonica Stadium, instead of Clark Intermediate on Nov. 22. The Immanuel game starts at 7 p.m. The winner of the game will play the winner of the Caruthers-Templeton game.

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