SCOTT CITY - The East Prairie Eagles football team hopes to continue their momentum from last week's win against Mt. View Liberty and will travel to Scott City to meet the Rams.
East Prairie (1-1) defeated Mt. View Liberty 41-27 and Scott City (0-2) lost a heart-breaker to Portageville last week by a score of 19-16.
In the series, Scott City holds a lead of 26-20 in overall games against East Prairie. Last year, the Rams won 17-0.
Coach Terry Flannigan of the Rams likes what he sees from East Prairie.
"They have a talented and dangerous offense," said Flannigan, "Their running backs are good and they are not bad up front."
East Prairie is riding high off last week's victory and coach Corey Adkisson hopes it will continue against the Rams.
"Big win over there last week and we are pleased with the production from our running backs and the play of our offense line," said Adkisson.
The Eagles had a huge rushing game last week as junior Paris Tipler (5-9, 190), led the way with 326 yards and five touchdowns.
Tipler has gained an area-leading 503 yards rushing with six touchdowns in two games and senior Dez Johnson (5-7, 144), has rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Leading the way for the runners of East Prairie is a young and inexperienced offensive line.
"We're young with just one starting senior and we are not real deep," said Adkisson. "But we have been happy with their play so far in the season."
The offensive line for the Eagles will be led by senior R.C. Strand (6-2, 194) and junior David Stalker (5-8, 218).
Senior Mitchell Winchester, will be under center as quarterback for the Eagles.
"Mitchell has been great and this is his first year starting at the quarterback position," said Adkisson. "Last game he kind of struggled with a fumble and interception but we don't ask that much from him, only that he doesn't turn over the football."
So far this season, Winchester has thrown for 151 yards in two games with two touchdowns and one interception.
When the Eagles do throw, receivers Caleb Hatton (5-8, 166) and Tony Jones (6-1, 172) will be Winchester's primary targets. Hatton has 67 receiving yards with a touchdown catch and Jones has 37 yards with a touchdown reception.
On defense, Scott City will run a 4-4 formation with emphasis on the linebacking corps.
The linebackers will be led by Jonathan Barr (5-11, 187) and Caleb Estes (5
The defensive line will be anchored by seniors Michael Irey (6-2, 216) and Michael Yetman (5-10, 218). Coach Flannigan has been disappointed with his line play so far this season.
"Our lines have been struggling and we are looking to find some leaders," said Flannigan. "We are young and inexperienced and we have had some rough practices this week getting ready for East Prairie."
Scott City will also be a run-oriented team and will be led by senior Jonathan Barr (5-11, 187). After two weeks of action, Barr has rushed for 162 yards and scored a touchdown.
At the other running back position, Scott City will feature sophomore Cody Carlyle (5-10, 164) who has gained 66 yards so far this season.
The Rams will have junior Jamie Pinkston (5-11, 150) at quarterback. Pinkston has completed eight passes for 103 yards with a touchdown. A problem for the Rams could be that of his 18 attempts, Pinkston has thrown three interceptions.
The offensive line, as with the defensive line, are young and inexperienced.
"Our offensive line is struggling to make calls on the line and are having a difficult time picking up blitzes," said Flannigan.
The East Prairie defense will have a heavy influence from the offensive side of the football. On defense, seven of the 11 starters will play both ways for coach Adkisson.
The Eagles will be led by linebackers Riley Hadenfelt (5-9, 175), Stalker and Tipler. Hadenfelt is a freshmen seeing significant playing time on the varsity level.
Strand will be counted on to make big plays on the defensive line as a starter on the D-line will be suspended for this week's game due to actions in the game against Mt. View Liberty.
"We keep improving on defense," said Adkisson. "Our linebackers make the plays and Strand has been awesome so far."
A concern for the Eagles is the health of running back Johnson.
"Last game he rolled his ankle and is questionable this week," said Adkisson.
For Scott City, coach Flannigan sees progress with his football team.
"Our boys played better against Portageville," said Flannigan. "We didn't put the game away early. We had our opportunities."
Scott City will have to get tough up front against the Eagles running attack. If East Prairie's offensive line wins the battle in the trenches, look for the Eagles to put up some gaudy rushing stats.
With or without Johnson, look for the Eagles to get good mileage out of Tipler and for the Scott City defense to wear down in the second half.