Eagles face brutal quarterfinal test against talented Titans
ASHLAND --- The Southern Boone Eagles have seen and played the best around here.
"They're unreal," Eagles coach Trent Tracy said of the 12-0 Falcons, who are ranked No. 1 in Class 2. "You just don't see high school teams throw the ball as well as they do, and their team speed in incredible. Every year, you think that kid's going to graduate, and here comes another kid.
"They've got a well-oiled machine down there, we just respect to the heck out of their program."
But Friday night, Southern Boone is facing a team that could be considered Blair Oaks on steroids.
Say hello to Trinity Catholic, a team with a senior class that's received more than 150 Division-I scholarship offers, including guys like linemen Ira Henry (6-5, 310) and Jalen St. John (6-6, 315), and quarterback Isaiah Williams (2,178 passing yards this season, 27 touchdowns, only three interceptions).
"What I've told some people is that this is the University of Alabama's JV team," Tracy said with a smile, "and at certain positions, it really is. I don't know how many D-I kids they've got, but they just have so many great athletes.
"But it is what it is. They're in our bracket and we drew them this round."
Hey, bigger, stronger and faster isn't everything.
There's also this:
"They are very talented, but do they play as a team? I don't think they're nearly as fundamentally sound as Blair Oaks, but they're so athletic, they don't have to be," said Tracy, whose eighth-ranked Eagles (10-2) will host the No. 2 Titans (10-2) at 7 p.m. Friday in the Class 3 quarterfinals in Ashland.
Like the Eagles, the Titans have lost two games, so they can't be that good, can they? Well, their losses are to a nationally-ranked team from Georgia and always potent East St. Louis --- in three overtimes.
"I told our kids this week that we're going to show you film and we can ooh and ahh, but that's who we're playing," said Tracy, who's 36-21 in his fifth season at Southern Boone. "We're not scared because at the end of the day, they have to line up against us, too, and we've done a pretty good job, ourselves, to get to this position."
You could say that, as this season and this team are historic --- the first trip to the quarterfinals in school history.
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