SPORTS HEADLINES

Football: Eagles face top-ten foe

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, September 13, 2017
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Last year, the Decatur Eagles and Midlothian Heritage Jaguars filled the shiny, new Ford Center at The Star in Frisco with offensive fireworks.

The high-powered offenses piled up 974 yards and 102 points as Heritage won the game on a Hogan Keasler 19-yard field goal as time expired, 52-50.

Friday, the two teams ranked in the top 10 in this week’s Class 4A Division I Harris Poll and unbeaten on the year will meet in a rematch at Eagle Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

“It will be exciting. Both of us have a lot of guys back,” said Decatur quarterback Wilson Hicks. “Both teams on paper are top-ranked teams. It’ll be a tough battle. It’ll test us to see where we are at.”

Hicks took over as the Eagles’ quarterback at halftime against Heritage last year in relief of the injured Tyler Ticknor. Hicks ended the game, going 9-for-11 for 152 yards with four touchdowns.

“The first two games this year was film with Tyler and this was the first film where I could see what I did. I’m excited to play against them again,” Hicks said.

The Eagles and Jaguars both come into the game with their offenses in prime form.

Decatur has piled up 490 yards per game in the two victories against Springtown and Alvarado. Hicks has thrown for seven scores and 736 yards with one interception.

Heritage has averaged 365 yards per game in wins over Sunnyvale (44-15) and Benbrook (45-28). Quarterback Landon Ledbetter is back to run the show, completing with the dangerous wide receiver Kerrion Fields, who had nine catches for 145 yards against the Eagles last year.

“They have great athletes all over the field,” said Decatur coach Mike Fuller. “Their offensive line is really good. Their skill guys are explosive. We have to keep them from the big, explosive plays.”

The Decatur defense is coming off a solid game against in the overtime win over Alvarado. Facing Alvarado’s powerful ground attack, the Eagles held up in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Then after the offense scored, the Decatur defense made a game-winning stop.

“It was a good win for us. Their offense was really good. We stepped up at the end,” said Decatur’s Braxton Roth, who had four tackles for losses.

Fuller agreed it was a big night for the defense.

“You make Alvarado on a fourth-and-5 resort to a trick play with the game on the line, that’s a good defensive night,” Fuller said. “It showed a lot of grit from our team. There was never any panic. We hung in there and battled until the end.”

The Eagles will be without senior wide receiver Dane Fitzgerald for possibly the season after he was injured against Alvarado.

Dayne Chapman will see the bulk of the work in his spot.

DECATUR 28, ALVARADO 21 OT

Decatur … 0 … 14 … 7 … 0 … 7 … – … 28
Alvarado … 0 … 7 … 14 … 0 … 0 … – … 21

SECOND QUARTER

Decatur – 8:29, Beau Bedford 37 pass from Wilson Hicks, Armando Benitez kick
Alvarado – 7:49, Blake Henderson 57 run, Luis Quintana kick
Decatur – 0:00, Mario Reyes 22 pass from Hicks, Benitez kick

THIRD QUARTER

Alvarado – 9:27, Henderson 65 run, Cody Cox kick
Decatur – 7:55, Reyes 29 pass from Hicks, Benitez kick
Alvarado – 3:21, Jacoby Rivera 34 pass from Colten Robles, Quintana kick

OVERTIME

Decatur – Bedford 6 pass from Hicks, Benitez kick

Decatur … Alvarado

First Downs … 17 … 23
Rushes-Yards … 22-46 … 46-297
Passing Yards … 314 … 152
Total Yards … 360 … 449
Comp-Att-Int … 24-35-0 … 11-22-0
Punts-Average … 3-42 … 3-11.3
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 0-0
Penalties-Yards … 2-15 … 13-111

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING – Decatur, Mario Reyes 3-17, Wilson Hicks 7-19, AJ Martinez 11-15, Dane Fitzgerald 1-(minus 5). Alvarado, Blake Henderson 21-190, Jacob Shockley 18-90, Braylon Ray 3-6, Colten Robles 4-11.

PASSING – Decatur, Hicks 24-35-0-314. Alvarado, Robles 11-21-0-152, Dayton Kunkel 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING – Decatur, Mario Reyes 6-120, Beau Bedford 5-61, Alec Uselton 4-55, AJ Martinez 3-23, Dayne Chapman 3-35, Dane Fitzgerald 3-20. Alvarado, Jacoby Rivera 3-64, Jacob Shockley 1-1, Johnathan Wall 1-28, Braylon Ray 1-8, Jacob Syrus 4-50.

MIDLOTHIAN HERITAGE (2-0) AT DECATUR (2-0)

7 p.m., Friday
at Eagle Stadium

MID. HERITAGE HARRIS RATING: 237

MID. HERITAGE NOTABLE: The Jaguars are averaging 365 yards per game

DECATUR HARRIS RATING: 234

DECATUR NOTABLE: Wilson Hicks has 736 yards and 7 TDs passing in two games.

HARRIS LINE: Mid. Heritage by 3

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