SPORTS HEADLINES

Football: Eagles hope for quick rebound

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, September 3, 2014

After watching film from the season-opening loss to Springtown, Decatur coach Mike Fuller held the same opinion Tuesday as he did leaving the field the previous Friday.

The Decatur coach pointed out that his team didn’t finish off series, on either side of the ball, in the 49-21 loss.

Start of New Year

START OF NEW YEAR – The Decatur Eagles take the field for the start of the 2014 season Friday at Springtown. The Eagles lost to the Porcupines 49-21. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We’d do good on first and second down and then let them make a play,” Fuller said. “We were too reliant on what just happened. Conversely, we got our heads down and didn’t play our responsibility and weren’t playing as hard as we needed to play.”

The Eagles will look to correct that at 3 p.m. Saturday when they take the field at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium in Waxahachie for the Dale Hansen Classic against the Alvarado Indians.

Decatur players agreed with their coach that the team needed to be more consistent. Senior linebacker Jacob Kevetter pointed out the Eagles’ struggles to get off the field on third-and-long. Decatur allowed Springtown to convert three times on third-and-9 or longer. The Porcupines also had three fourth-down conversions.

“We’d do great on first and second and then our effort would drop or we’d have a break down on a third and long,” Kevetter said.

Offensively, the Eagles twice got inside the Springtown 20 and came away with no points.

“We were so close in the red zone and would shut down,” said running back Payton McAlister.

While overall the opener had its share of disappointments, the Eagles showed an ability to move the ball on the ground behind McAlister, who rushed for 190 yards on 21 carries.

“The offensive line did a good job. The holes were there,” McAlister said.

Fuller agreed that the offensive line had a good opening night.

“The offensive line did a good job of run blocking, and Payton did a good job of finding the holes,” he said. “Our passing game wasn’t consistent.”

The Eagles passed for 121 yards with Justin Myers completing nine of his 22 attempts with an interception and a touchdown.

“We missed a couple of receivers, and we dropped a couple of passes,” Fuller said.

The Eagles’ task this week will not get any easier against an Alvarado team that is coming off a 41-19 loss to Waco LaVega.

“Alvarado is a really good football team,” Fuller said. “It’s tough playing a good team that is coming off a loss. They are big, strong and physical.”

Even in the loss, Alvarado ran for 382 yards against LaVega. Austin Morriel rushed for 187 on 35 carries. Adrian Hendrick added 150 yards on 17 rushes.

Fuller said the Eagles must make stops and keep Alvarado from putting together ball-controlling, clock-killing drives.

Overall, he wants to see his team handle adversity and play within its schemes on each side of the ball.

“Control what you can control and trust in your teammates,” Fuller said.

Ticket information: Pre-sale tickets for the Dale Hansen Classic are available in the Decatur High School ticket office for $7. They are $10 at the gate. No passes will be honored.

DECATUR (0-1) VS. ALVARADO (0-1)

3 p.m. at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium

Decatur: Harris Rating 203

Notable: Payton McAlister rushed for 190 yards last week.

Alvarado: Harris Rating 213

Notable: Alvarado piled up 380 yards on the ground against LaVega

Harris line: Alvarado by 13

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