SPORTS HEADLINES

Eagles face stiff opening test

By Clay Corbett | Published Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{{{*}}}Everything resets this week as the Decatur Eagles prepare to open district play.

The Eagles have racked up four wins in the first six weeks, and hope to ride that momentum into District 9-3A competition.

District Opener

DISTRICT OPENER – Grayson Muehlstein and the rest of the Eagle offense will have their hands full Friday against a stout Gainesville defense. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Decatur (4-2) hosts the Gainesville Leopards (5-0) Friday at Eagle Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

“It all starts at 0-0 again,” Decatur head coach Kyle Story said.

With the Leopards coming to town the Eagles have a chance to get a leg up on the preseason district favorites. Just like last season, Gainesville is off to a hot start and is coming off a 27-18 win over Vernon.

The Lions were averaging 40 points per game heading into the match-up with Gainesville.

“They are as good as we’ve seen so far,” Story said. “It will be the best defense we’ve played against. They are very physical and tough to move the ball on.”

If the Eagles can get past the Leopard defense, they still have to find a way to stop a Gainesville offense that is averaging 271 rushing yards per game.

Adam Berryman is netting 7.63 yards per carry and junior quarterback Mason Copeland is averaging 5.29.

“Berryman is a tough runner who is tough to tackle,” Story said. “He is as good as back we’ve seen. He’s strong and fast. Copeland is dangerous too.”

Decatur outgained Alvarado by 82 yards last week, but came away with a loss. A poor first quarter allowed the Indians get off to a 14-0 lead.

“We’ve got to execute and get off to a better start,” Story said. “We are going to have to take advantage of all our opportunities and get points when we can.”

Making Adjustments

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS – Offensive coordinator Jayson Lavender will look to get past the Leopards Friday. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

GAINESVILLE (5-0) AT
DECATUR (4-2)

7:30 p.m.
at Eagle Stadium

Radio: 1580 AM KGAF

Decatur: Harris Rating 212

Notable: Gainesville doubled up Decatur 42-21 last season.

Gainesville: Harris Rating 225

Notable: The Leopards are 17-1 dating back to the start of last year.

Harris line: Gainesville by 13

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