Decatur offense stymied in semifinal loss

By Richard Greene | Published Friday, December 14, 2018.
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After allowing a quick touchdown to open the game, the Decatur Eagles looked to an usually explosive offense to counter.

Decatur drove into La Vega territory before Roman Fuller was blasted while rolling out from behind by the Pirates’ DeMarr Hayes for a drive-ending sack and fumble on fourth down.

The Eagles’ second drive also ended with a turnover to start a long day for the Decatur offense.

“We did something that we haven’t done this year; we fumbled a few times and dropped some passes,” said Decatur coach Mike Fuller. “We didn’t execute well enough at the first with a team like that. We knew they would be the best defense we’ve ever faced.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

La Vega proved to be worth that praise, holding Decatur’s explosive offense that had averaged 474 yards in the playoffs to just 155. The Eagles never made it inside the Pirates’ 30-yard line in a 53-0 season-ending loss in the 4A Division I semifinal at AT&T Stadium.

It was the first time the Eagles were shutout this season.

Decatur managed only 19 yards on the ground after Roman Fuller was sacked five times for a loss of 26 yards. The Eagles lost three turnovers — all after crossing midfield.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Decatur senior receiver Beau Bedford, who caught four passes for 36 yards in his final game, said his squad left some plays on the field against the stout La Vega defense.

“The coaches had us set up. We just couldn’t execute,” Bedford said.

The power outage on offense came while La Vega chewed up clock with their powerful running game led by John Richards. La Vega piled up 480 yards on ground and 625 total.

After La Vega scored just 53 seconds into the game, Coach Fuller knew their only chance was to keep pace offensively. For the first time in six weeks, the Eagles’ offense couldn’t do it.

“We had to try to outscore them. We missed some opportunities and didn’t execute like we have,” Coach Fuller said.

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