Eagles focused on improving each week

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 10, 2015


The Pleasant Home Eagles (0-2) look to get their first win of the 2015 season Friday night when Notasulga comes to town for a Class 1A showdown.

This will be only the second time that the two squads have met on the gridiron with Notasulga winning last year’s contest 41-6.

“Notasulga has athletes as usual,” Eagles’ coach Chris Mason said. “Fundamentally, the are average, but their difference maker is their athletes.”

Mason said that other than speed, Notasulga doesn’t really do much else that scares him.

“They have us on speed,” Mason said. “But that is it. We match up well with them in every other aspect. In a game with fairly even teams, it comes down to heart and who wants it more.”

Keeping Notasulga’s speedy players at bay will be the key for the Eagles, Mason said.

“We have to do a good job of containing them,” Mason said. “Stopping the big play is something we have got to do. That has killed us the past two weeks, and that comes down to tackling better. I’ve been really disappointed with our tackling.”

Mason said that tackling has been a focal point of the Eagles during this week’s practice.

“This week, we have been stressing to them to give a maximum effort on every play,” Mason said. “We want 11 guys flying to the football on every play, and then to make the play. We have been in possession to make the plays and these kids are lining up correctly, but we just have to make the tackle. If we can do that against Notasulga, we can win.”

Mason stressed that the Eagles can’t give up big plays, especially early in the game.

“If they break two big plays for scores early, it will be hard for us to get back in the game,” Mason said.

The Eagles have been a run-heavy team and they will continue to try to establish the run, but Mason said there could be some changes coming to the offense.

“We will still try to establish the run, but we will have to throw the ball to loosen them up a bit,” Mason said. “Last week, we threw for 200 yards and we haven’t done that in the past two years. We added in some new things to the offense last week and had some success with it, and I think the kids are excited about that. If completely changing the offense is what we have to do to win then that is what will do. We just can’t be lopsided.”

Mason said that the success last week helped build confidence.

“We built some confidence on offense last week,” Mason said. “Hopefully, that will carry over to this week.

Another thing Mason said could work in the Eagles’ favor is their endurance.

“We can’t match Notasulga in speed, but last week they got tired in the second half against Red Level and it showed,” Mason said. “We are going to go right at them and keep working them, and I think we can outlast them.”

Kickoff between Pleasant Home and Notasulga will be at 7 p.m., in Pleasant Home.