In their first live action of the fall, the Decatur Eagles showed mixed results against preseason 4A Division I top-10 Kennedale Friday.
Kennedale outscored Decatur 9-4 on the night, including 3-1 in the live half.
For a starting point, Decatur coach Mike Fuller said he saw some good and bad on the evening as his squad still learns the new offensive and defensive schemes from a new staff.
“I saw good effort. There was some confusion at times,” Fuller said. “We’ve been focused on ourselves and didn’t scheme for [their wing-T]. I was a little disappointed we were soft on the edges at times on defense. Offensively, I was pretty pleased. In the scrimmage, we fumbled once, but we put together some good drives offensively.”
Defensively, the Eagles gave up two big scoring plays in the live half – runs of 39 and 83 yards. Kennedale also put together three scoring drives of eight plays or more.
“We have a lot of room for improvement,” said Decatur linebacker Cole Vaughan. “We’re working hard every day. Tonight was a little hectic getting things together. We’ll show up next week and fix what we had problems with tonight.”
Kennedale runners were able to keep some plays alive by breaking tackles on the edges. Decatur made three tackles for losses in the scrimmage, including a sack by linebacker Jacob Kevetter.
Cornerback Brandon Garza picked off a pass during the live half.
Offensively, quarterback Justin Myers turned in a solid showing in his debut as the Decatur starter. The senior was 14-for-22 for 278 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw two interceptions in the live half – on a third-and-long.
“The offensive line did really well,” Myers said. “We stopped ourselves a few times. The two turnovers were on me. I’ve got to get that fixed.”
Myers added 73 yards on 11 rushes. He said the offense worked best when it was pushing the tempo.
“When we start slowing down, I personally start making mistakes,” Myers said.
Myers opened the scrimmage connecting on five of his first six passes, including a 19-yard touchdown to Payton McAlister. McAlister also hauled in a 37-yard score from Myers in Decatur’s second offensive set.
The second touchdown to McAlister came two plays after Myers hit speedster Gunnar Parker in stride behind the Kennedale coverage for a 70-yard score.
The Eagles’ only score in the live half was a 44-yard connection from Myers to Ryan Durdon.
Freshman running back Mario Reyes made an impression, carrying the ball seven times for 63 yards. He broke one run for 33 yards.