El Dorado coach Steven Jones has a large offensive playbook. But, when push turned to shove Friday night, the players really didn’t need to look at a wristband to know what they were going to do.
Give AJ the rock.
El Dorado’s Alex Hicks had 44 carries for 270 yards and two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 16-13 win at Camden Fairview.
The Wildcats took the lead on Hicks’ 9-yard run with 10:27 left in the fourth after a 79-yard drive on which he carried the ball on 10 of the 11 plays. On the final possession, El Dorado killed the clock with 10 consecutive runs by Hicks.
“In the second half, we felt like we just kind of wore them down a little bit. You could look at AJ’s eyes and you could tell he wanted it. He wanted to carry the team to a win,” said Jones. “We just gave him the rock as many times as humanly possible and he put on a show.”
Jones said El Dorado’s offensive line also stepped up to the challenge of running the ball against a defense that knew exactly what was coming.
“Thomas Crawford had his best game so far this season. He really accepted the challenge,” said Jones of the senior tackle.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were the stronger team as the Cardinals wilted under the 90-degree heat. Several Fairview players struggled with cramping. El Dorado, playing in its second game, handled the elements much better.
Jones credited El Dorado’s entire program, from athletic trainer Morgan Atkins to strength-and-conditioning coach Kris Borosvskis along with assistant coach DeAnthony Curtis.
“We have an athletic trainer to keep us hydrated throughout the week. We harp on that. We like the way our bodies are, right now. We feel like we’re in better shape than the team we’re going to play on Friday,” said Jones.
“I think our conditioning really wore them down in the fourth quarter. We were able to run the ball between the tackles and continue to string drives together and we found a way to win.”
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Not every high school football team is capable of executing a 40-yard field goal or averages more than 40 yards per punt. Luxury items for most teams were necessities for El Dorado on Friday in the Wildcats’ 16-13 win at Camden Fairview.
Greysen Hubbard’s career-long 40-yard field on the final play of the second quarter proved to be the difference on the scoreboard for El Dorado, which beat the Cardinals for the sixth consecutive year.
Dave Carruth averaged 43.7 yards on three punts, including a 45 yarder from his own 35 that gave Fairview possession at its own 20 in the first half.
“Couple big plays in special teams – Dave Carruth is a weapon for us at punter. He gave us a field position swing. He’s able to flip the field over and really gives us an advantage in that aspect,” said El Dorado coach Steven Jones. “Hubbard nails a 40 yarder from the right hash, which is the most difficult kick for a right footed kicker. And, we won the game by a field goal. We’re proud of our special teams’ units.
“We’ve got to get better in coverage but as far as execution goes on punts and field goals, we’re pretty happy with that.”