Eagles hope to bounce back against rival Bulldogs

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Despite coming up short in a non-region outing, Pleasant Home (2-3, 1-2 1A Region 2) bids to snap a two-game slide at Kinston (1-4, 0-3) Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m.

The Eagles and Bulldogs meet for the 23rd consecutive season with the all-time series tied at 11-11.

“Kinston has some good talent on their football team. They have a few players who will be a challenge to deal with. Coach (Rudy) Free does a great job getting his guys to compete and execute very well. This is a big region game in which both teams desperately need a win,” Head Coach Cody Sellers said.

He felt Pleasant Home missed an opportunity to get a key win last week. “We had some opportunities we couldn’t capitalize on that kept replaying in my mind. I am proud of how our guys fought and competed for four quarters. We still have to fix a number of things to be the team we want to be. Seeing the growth in our guys and the challenge to improve each week is what makes coaching such a challenging but rewarding job.”

Sellers shared his thoughts on how his team looked last week.

“We moved the ball decently on offense but had some penalties to set us back. Some young guys were thrown into the fire up front and got valuable playing time due to injuries, which will be very valuable to their development. Defensively, I felt we missed on a number of plays that caused us to not be nearly as effective as we should have been. Bad reads and missed tackles plagued us Friday. Zion Chapel is a very well-coached football team and used their size and physicality effectively.”

The Eagles will learn from the tough loss as they begin the second half. “We will use this experience to challenge ourselves to not make mistakes we can control. Mistakes happen. Sometimes, your opponent has a size or speed advantage, and you do everything in your power and still lose on a play. What we have to dedicate ourselves to is the pursuit of perfection in the execution of things like alignment, assignment, read keys, composure, and effort,” he said.

Pleasant Home suffered a 33-18 setback against Kinston in 2021. The Eagles fell to Zion Chapel last week, 28-19, and the Bulldogs were downed by Goshen, 63-19.