for the Daily Times
Eastern Eagles head coach Scott Tomlinson is coaching a young team with a young staff.
“These boys, we had to sit them down and tell them what a tight end and a lineman was,” Tomlinson said. “They didn’t know because their school didn’t have football and a lot of them didn’t watch it on the TV.”
Despite their lack of experience as a program, they came out of the corner swinging. They pulled a solid win out of their newly christened helmets for their season opener against the Millersport Lakers, beating them by 11 points, 39-28.
“They want their respect,” Tomlinson said. “Millersport was projected at possibly finishing with a 7-3 record and now people are saying they will be lucky to end up 1-9 because of their loss to us. That’s a slap in the face and our boys are hungry to go out and prove them wrong.”
They are definitely set up to shock opponents this season after their stellar performance on home ground. With a powerful offense led by junior quarterback Ethan Leist, who completed 14-of-26 passes for 139 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown strike to junior Clay Martin. Leist is backed by game-one sensation, senior tailback Cole Fremont. Fremont averaged almost 10 yards per carry on his way to 234 total for the night and four scores.
Their opposition in week two looks a lot different than the Lakers. The Dayton Christian Warriors are a division VI team who passes the ball about 75 percent of the time. They have an offense with a lot of speed and they run several defensive formations to keep the opponent guessing.
“They’ve got about four guys on the field who are faster than anyone on our side,” Tomlinson said. “What’s going to be key is keeping their offense off the field.”
Dayton Christian seem to play a conservative defense and Tomlinson is sure that his running staff can break up their plans.
What seems to be key to the Eagles success and their drive for further wins is their cohesive, and unified vision as a team. With a young staff that comes from all over the region, they rally around their coach letting him strategize and plot out a master device that shocks and awes the.
“I have the most dedicated coaching staff around. I really want to brag on these guys,” Tomlinson said. “They are very knowledgeable and spend a lot of time doing film work. They come from good backgrounds and they are eager to prove themselves.”
Tomlinson’s prized staff will be eyeing the special teams this week, their Achilles’ heel during week one. The Eagles gave up 14 points due to special team mistakes; a punt block for a touchdown and a 75-yard kick return from Lakers senior running back Storm Singleton. That play gave Millersport the lead with ten minutes left on the clock in the fourth quarter. Leist and Fremont both clocked a score to gain the advantage back and seal the deal, but the Eagles could have lost the momentum and the game. Tomlinson named this as a key aspect to improve on going into this evening’s game.
The Eagles will host the Warriors Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled at 7:30 p.m.
Cody Leightenheimer is a stringer for the Daily Times. Reach him on twitter @leightenheimer