COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
WEEK EIGHT – ANTONIAN STADIUM, SAN ANTONIO
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Eagle Football (4-3) travels to San Antonio October 18 to face Antonian College Preparatory (4-2).
SETTING THE SCENE
The Eagles are aiming for a fifth win in six games and a 2-0 sprint into the district race after dominating a name-your-score 31-7 destruction of Tomball Concordia Lutheran at Hotze Field inside Granger Stadium. Antonian opened the season with four consecutive wins before absorbing back-to-back defeats by a combined 20 points.
Quarterback Maddox Kopp ‘21 connected twice with electric receiver Cameron Bonner ‘21 for touchdowns and added another payoff to Drake Martinez ‘21 two seconds before halftime as the Eagles flipped an overwhelming 21-0 advantage. Bonner bolted for scoring grabs of 37 and 79 yards while the Eagles flashed the defensive equivalent of Joaquin Phoenix’s menacing Joker, posting its second consecutive first half shutout.
Bonner continues to bedevil so deftly that the opposing secondary is left stumbling like hapless Stormtroopers. In addition to the first half touchdown show his 56-yard strike resulted in a first down inside the red zone with 19 seconds remaining in the period and led to the commanding three touchdown count at halftime.
His 17-yard catch was the big gainer in the opening third quarter series that ended with a 42-yard field goal from Paul Langemeir ’20 and a 24-7 separation. The Eagles’ final clock killing series included his 36-yard reception to close out his most productive and pronounced effort of the season.
The suddenly undaunted Eagle doomsday defense continues to add fresh definition to the St. Thomas season. The dismantling began with stoning TCL on two fourth down stops in the first half, aided and abetted by a stifling series flipping sack from Max Garcia ‘20.
The unit turned the Crusaders over on downs again in the third quarter before an interception from wrecking ball linebacker Cooper Thomas ‘20 (Columbia University) who took part in 16 tackles and a quarterback tackle for loss. Collectively the Eagles were not gracious in giving up big plays and were never terribly troubled.
WEEK SEVEN || FIRST HALF
WEEK SEVEN || SECOND HALF
STATE OF PLAY
One season removed from having to survive weekly PlayStation-like shootouts, Eagle Football has discovered a gnarly, ornery, and oppressive defense that has changed the tenor of discussion around this team.
Marauding linebacker Thomas (95 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss) along with twin terrors Garcia (10 TFL) and Chidera Umeh ‘20 (10 TFL) in the trenches plus super active safety Daniel Coco ‘20 have infused a swaggering, punishing energy. As the Eagle advance into the pivot point game the season, that unit must continue to convince they are the solution for postseason relevance or merely a temporary salve. But into mid-October, what a difference a year, a new identity, and effusive confidence can make.
Kopp (1,561 passing yards and 13 touchdowns) is comfortably progressing in his first varsity season minus the unfair standards of his record smashing predecessor Peyton Matocha ‘19. Bonner (625 receiving yards and dazzling 26 yards per catch) provides a lethal weapon threat with the potential to ignite points from any distance on the field.
The results have netted the Eagles a suitable recovery and continued the season’s rebuild from conservative losses to start the season. As Curtis Mayfield would have suggested … “Move On Up.”
Move on up, toward your destination
You may find from time to time
Bite your lip
And take a trip
Though there may be wet road ahead
And you cannot slip
Move on up
And keep on wishin’
Remember your dream is your only scheme
So keep on pushin’
Take nothing less, than the second best
Do not obey, you must keep your say
You can past the test
Just move on up, to a greater day
With just a little faith
If you put your mind to it you can surely do it
The Eagles will conclude their home slate October 25 with a match against San Antonio Central Catholic that has moved from non-district to district competition since 2017.
Eagle Football owns consecutive head-to-head wins. Two years ago Matocha connected with wide receiver Hunter Cheek ‘19 with an ad lib touchdown in the right corner of the end zone in the final five minutes to complete a frantic fourth period comeback and a 31-28 victory.
The return to Bob Benson ‘66 Stadium in San Antonio featured the most complete effort of 2018 – a 49-21 body slam that included an offensive tsunami of sustained touchdown drives and quicksilver scoring strikes plus a suffocating defense that set the big-play tone with its first touchdown of the season for the first points of the game.
Eagle Fight Never Dies!