A good week of practice doesn’t necessarily translate into a good game.
That was proven Friday as Cold Springs High was defeated by Class 2A, Region 7 rival West End 42-14.
“This was the most focused and most physical week of practice I’ve seen in the seven years I’ve been here,” said Eagles coach Chris Freeman. “I’m not sure what happened between the practices and the game.
“Maybe the kickoff return took some of the wind out of our sails.”
The game-opening kickoff was returned 87 yards by West End’s James Barron.
The Patriots (1-2, 1-1) then went on a tear, scoring a touchdown in almost every conceivable manner, en route to a 42-0 halftime lead.
To wit, quarterback Levi Weems connected with Colten Humphrey for a 13-yard touchdown pass; Weems landed on a fumbled Eagles (0-3, 0-2) punt snap and stumbled into the end zone; Dakota Martinez ran for a 27-yard touchdown; Weems intercepted a Nick Speer pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown; and Jake Wilemon rushed for a 58-yard touchdown.
“At halftime, we weren’t screaming at them,” Freeman said. “We were quiet and reasonable. We told them that the score was what it was and we couldn’t change that, but as bad as we needed to get back in the game, we needed to get better even more.”
The Eagles showed some improvement in the second half.
The opening drive got all the way to the Patriots 9-yard line before coming up an inch short on a fourth-down run by Logan Campbell. It was the first sustained drive of the game for Cold Springs.
After forcing a West End punt, Cold Springs got its first touchdown on another sustained drive that ended on a 6-yard Campbell-to-Speer pass. Campbell then found Brandon Lynch for the two-point conversion.
After another Patriots punt, the Eagles got another touchdown, on an 18-yard pass from Campbell to Houston Harbin.
“I don’t know what to do to get us out of the locker room (in the first half) better,” Freeman said. “We’re notorious for that. But I can’t fault the heart and effort. We’ve just got to get this monkey off our backs.”
The monkey is a 28-game losing streak that dates back to 2008.
Stan Veitch can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at email@example.com.