SPORTS HEADLINES

Decatur to face down Leopards

By Clay Corbett | Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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NICE CATCH – Decatur’s Cain Lowe looks for running room after making a reception against Alvarado. The Eagles open district play at Gainesville Friday. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

It will be a reunion of old rivals when the Decatur Eagles open up district play at Gainesville Friday.

Decatur (3-3) battles the Gainesville Leopards (6-0) Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Nothing went right for the Eagles in their final tune-up before district play. Their offense faltered against Alvarado’s defense, and Decatur goes back to the drawing board to try to get things corrected for a very improved Gainesville team.

The Leopards are 6-0 for the first time since 2005, when they played for a state championship. They broke up Vernon’s perfect record last week with a 14-13 last-second win.

Gainesville’s offense is averaging 34 points and nearly 300 rushing yards per game. With weapons all over the field, Decatur head coach Kyle Story knows his defense will have their hands full.

“They have good skill kids,” Story said. “We are going to have to make tackles in the open field.”

Dual-threat quarterback Denzel Johnson is averaging almost 13 yards per carry and has put up 495 passing yards. He has accounted for 11 touchdowns for the Leopards.

Decatur hopes, Levi Rust will return to the lineup after suffering a deep thigh bruise in the first half against Alvarado.

Tyler White suffered a concussion and will only return as a punter for the remainder of the season.

With only a five-team district, this shapes up to be a very key game for a district title and playoff push.

“It is huge to get that first district win,” Story said. “It gets you so close to the playoffs. It’s always been a good-spirited game that usually results in close ball games.”

DECATUR (3-3) AT GAINESVILLE (6-0)
7:30 p.m. at Leopard Stadium

DECATUR: Harris Rating 210

NOTABLE: Decatur was shutout for the first time this season against Alvarado.

GAINESVILLE: Harris Rating 216

NOTABLE: The Leopards are 6-0 for the first time since 2005 when they played in the state final.

HARRIS LINE: Gainesville by 6

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