by Nikki Wilson
Special to TownTalk Sports
Life does not offer many second chances, but the Seagraves Eagles have found themselves with just that.
After a 45-14 win over Memphis on Saturday, the Eagles will be facing Albany 7 P.M. Friday. This will be their third playoff game of the season at Lowrey Field in Lubbock.
The Eagles soared through to an easy victory against the Memphis Cyclones, picking up the Region I Division 2A Quarterfinal championship Saturday afternoon at Lowrey Field in Lubbock.
The Eagles played their usual running game, putting many different hands on the ball to get it to the Eagle goal line multiple times.
Senior running back Cory Kyle made three touchdowns and rushed for 184 yards, and fellow senior tight end Robby Pinon picked up 122 yards rushing.
Pinon completed two of three passing attempts for two touchdowns, one of which went to wide receiver Diante Lott early in the fourth. .
“I didn’t think I was fast enough to catch it, but I believe in my team, and I do whatever I can,” said Lott. “This game brought us together.”
Junior tight end Quashus Williams and junior quarterback Will Wilkins also picked up touchdowns for the Eagles.
The team credits its success to the relationships both on and off the field.
Senior wide receiver Skylar Clark said, “We played together as a family and didn’t let anything break us apart on the field.”
Head Coach Steve Heryford said the Memphis win was good for the boys as they prepare to meet Albany.
The last time Seagraves played the Lions was December 12, a year ago, when Albany took the game, the semifinal championship and the Eagles’ chance at a state title with a 24-12 win.
“We were playing, and we didn’t have a passion to win the game,” said Heryford. “We’ve been to this level (before) and got denied.”
Heryford said he has had the team focus on the verses from Isaiah 40 because even through the fatigue and adversity of the playoffs, he said he expects that they will soar like eagles.
It all started this summer when Heryford and his coaching staff took a group football players to Guadalupe Peak, and together, they climbed to the top as a reminder of what it would take to reach their goals.
“In Texas football, it’s very difficult to get to the peak,” said Heryford. “We’re not going to just climb the mountain. We’re going to reach the peak. Experience is a powerful teacher. They know their opponent, and they know themselves. Last year’s group didn’t have that advantage.”
“This year we’re more of a team than individuals. We’re playing with more heart,” said junior defensive tackle Jonathan Nicolas.
The winner of the Albany/Seagraves game will face either Muenster or Bremond for the state championship Thursday, Dec. 18 in Houston, but for now, the Eagles are playing day by day.
“We’re only focused on this one game,” said senior center Israel Rosalez. “It’s gonna be a fight, but if we show up and play, we’ll be good.”