To say the 20-13 football victory in O'Neill was a long drawn out ordeal is an understatement. The game not drawn out for penalties but was drawn out by the weather.
The Eagles started their season off with a long drawn out game against the Boone Central Cardinals last Friday and Saturday afternoon. The Eagles were able to come out on top with a 20-13 win after starting the game Friday night and having to finish it on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. The Eagles were able to strike first in the game with two touchdowns in the first and second quarters. The Eagles were looking to then go up by three scores but got down all the way to the five-yard line and a penalty set them back and turned it over on downs. The Cardinals would then put together a drive that went 95 yards to make the score 12-7. Then the lightning set in and sent both teams to take cover at the high school at that point. The teams were weather-bound inside until midnight when the weather just wouldn't quit and both teams agreed to come back Saturday to finish. Saturday the game started with the Eagles getting the ball with 3:30 minutes left in the first half. After halftime, the Eagles stalled out and the Cardinals again scored on a 60 yard scamper from their running back making the score 13-12. Two possessions later the Eagles put together a strong drive on the ground and through the air with Michael Poese punching it in from four yards out. The two point conversion was good from Mason Walsh to Kolby Dean and the Eagles were again up 20-13.
"We tried giving them chances throughout the entire fourth quarter with penalties and turnovers, but we were able to overcome adversity and mistakes to hold onto the win. We are very proud of this group for showing resiliency throughout the final minutes of the game and never giving up. Last year we were in this same situation a few times and the outcome was always different. It feels good to get the monkey off our back and mover forward now with a little confidence," said Coach Brock Eichelberger.
The Eagles ran 66 plays for first downs and had 11 penalties for 75 yards. The Cardinals had 58 plays for nine first downs and 10 penalties for 50 yards.
This year's Eagles were not your usual squad of one-dimensional players with members scoring in the rushing and the catching columns.
Walsh did an excellent job leading the Eagle offense throwing 28 times for 13 completions for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles definitely had more skilled players in the backfield than the Cardinals with Poese running the ball five times for 23 yards and one touchdown, Dean one carry for 30 yards, Turner Jussel 10 carries for 27 yards, Brady Sidak two carries for 14 yards and Walsh 11 carries for one yard.
Dean led the receivers with four catches for 85 yards and one touchdown, Poese had three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown, Peyton Matthews two catches for 41 yards, Sidak three catches for 33 yards and Jessel one catch for 10 yards.
Leading the Eagle defense was Sidak with 12 tackles, Poese and Jussel with nine each, Mathews and Dean each with eight, Brandon Hopson and Fabian Acevedo each with five, Riley Davis, Walsh and Matt Wilson four each, Keegan Moore two and Ben Stauffer, Dominic Parks and Sean Coventry with one each.