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4-game winning streak halted at Homecoming

The Eagles marched into Clark Stadium on Oct. 3 for their showdown with Central Sierra League [CSL] leader Coast Union riding a 4 game winning streak and brimming with confidence. However, the Eagles streak shuddered to a halt as they committed eight turnovers and were defeated 21-7, dropping into second place in the CSL.

“I really don’t know what happened,” head coach Jon Hall said, “when you lose the ball 6 times and fumble it 9 times with 5 different people it’s hard to tell. That’s just football; it happens and there’s not much you can do about it.”

The Eagles trailed 7-0 when quarterback Seth Fisher, ’04, scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to close out the first half scoring, pulling the Eagles back even.

“My touchdown gave us momentum going into the second half and gave us a strong chance to win,” Fisher said. “Playing before our crowd at home also gave us an advantage but we just didn’t hold onto the ball.”

The Eagles defense held Coast to open the second half, but an opportunity to seize the lead was squandered when fullback Brian Defrancesco, ’04, fumbled the ball away. That started a string on which the Eagles fumbled on five straight possessions and the momentum swung back to Coast.

Hall promised that his team would address their need to protect the ball in practice before their Oct. 17 away match-up with Farmersville.

“We’re definitely going to work on holding the ball in practice,” Hall said, “and we will be doing a lot of drills to prevent this from happening again. That’s a promise.”

The Eagles offense had more total yards than Coast Union and consistently moved the ball down field, but each drive was squelched by turnovers. However, despite the offense’s inability to produce, the Eagles defense rose to the occasion.

Coast’s offensive attack, powered by Central Section leading rusher Matt Downing, ’04, never got into full gear, as Downing was held to 74 yards on 24 carries.

“We hit Downing hard each time he got the ball,” Tyler Wiebe, ’04, said. “We did a great job of containing him and executed our game plan very well.”

However, the Eagles turnovers did not go without consequence, as Coast scored all three of their touchdowns after turnovers gave them excellent field position. The Eagles are now 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Central Sierra League. After their bye week, football next travels to Farmersville to play the Aztecs on Oct. 17.

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