BY SCOTTIE BROWN
The Greenville Standard
The Fort Dale Eagles opened its home season with a loss against Success Unlimited 38-34. Head coach James ‘Speed’ Sampley said he was proud of the team’s effort and drive throughout the matchup.
“I told them after the game I was pleased with their efforts,” Sampley said. “That makes a lot of difference when you play hard. But, we’re not in this for moral victories, now. We don’t want to say we played good and lost; we want to say we played good and won. So, we’re going to keep working.”
Turn-overs, most notably in the red zone, is where Sampley said he felt the team could have improved.
“We had about 500-yards of offense, and we turned it over three times inside the 25, and if you turn it over in the red zone going in to score three times, you aren’t going to beat many people,” Sampley said. “That’s sort of been our nemesis all year long, turning the ball over.”
Sampley said the team’s specialty teams also held the team back in the matchup.
“We need to kick the ball the way we are kicking it in practice,” Sampley aid. “We’re not kicking it in game like we are at practice, and of course you’ve got to cover, too. We let them return a punt last night for a touchdown, and that was not good.”
Offensively, however, Sampley said it was one of the team’s best outings of the season.
“I think our offensive line played well really for the first time,” Sampley said. “They played pretty dadgum good. All of them. Our backs had good nights because of that. I think Cade Mannsmann had more than 200 yards rushing and Barren Brack, our quarterback, had over a 130 yards rushing.”
The Eagles will look to face Sparta for homecoming next week, and Sampley said he was hoping the excitement of for annual festivities would not deter the team in its efforts to gain a win.
“We’re working on ball security all the time,” Sampley said. “We’re going to have to continue doing it, and of course we’ve got to keep working, and it’s homecoming, and there’s distractions that come with that. We’ll have to work right on through it.”