"We've been in the position that they are in," Eufaula head coach Dan Klages said. "We were undefeated in 2005 and 2006 going into the playoffs, and there is a lot of pressure. The worst thing that could happen is to go 10-0 and lose the opening round because you know what everyone is going to call that."
"In 2005 we had to go to overtime to beat Citronelle. That was tough because we were sitting there 10-0, and they were 6-4, No. 4 in their region. We were No. 1 in our region."
"They played us tooth-and-nail. So I know how it is to be on the other end of it. We hope that we are going to go out and play our very very best. We have not played a complete football game, yet. Not one where we could just hang our hats and say we did all we could do tonight. Maybe this will be that night, but it will take that. Then hopefully get a little help from Vigor."
We also talked about the tribulations of the season.
"Comparing it to where we have been it would be disappointing," Klages said. "Some people would be happy to be 6-4 and in the playoffs, but it could have been worse. We had to overcome a lot just to be where we are. There are also some things we could have done here or there and been better too."
Eufaula seems under an injury black cloud. One that has extended to their former 2006 star quarterback Jerrel Jernigan, now a sophomore star at Troy. Unlike the Tigers' injuries, Jernigan should return by their appointment in Baton Rouge against LSU.
"We've had an awful time with injuries. Three ACLs this year, and all three were starters," Klages said.
"One of them started both ways, and one was our returning quarterback (Zach Brown). He got hurt the first scrimmage, which was the second day of pads, non-contact. He played a little bit with a brace this year, and then it went out on him a couple of times. He had to get surgery after about the sixth ball game."
It probably says something about the toughness of the Tigers and the lack of depth at the position that he even tried to return.
"Our other guy went out in game three," Klages continued. "Then we had another that went out in game eight (Britt Irvin, OL)."
Klages talked about the experience his youthful players are getting.
"People that have replaced them will all be back another year," he said. "So in the long term, if you are looking for a bright side that would be something that will give us a little more strength down the road."
Klages continued about this week's game.
"My job is to convince them you don't win games off talent alone, and we've got enough talent that if we just completely sell out and play like a bunch of rabid dogs that we will have a shot at doing whatever we want to do. We can't just mess around and beat people," he explained.
"We run three running backs in a two-back set, but we will play three. Right now, all three of those start on defense, and one of the three also starts at tight end. In 5A ball that makes it tough. They are on every special teams too, and all of our receivers play defense.
Players to Watch:
Daniel Forte (5-8, 160) Sophomore Running Back
Will McKee (5-9, 155) Junior Kicker
Hans Rice (6-3, 205) Senior Linebacker
Javen Harris (6-1, 220) Senior Linebacker (UCF commitment)
Kendall Houston (5-9, 205) Senior Running Back
Marvin Shinn (6-3, 170) Sophomore Wide Receiver
Keith Ray (5-10, 165) Senior Quarterback
Jalston Fowler (6-0 240) Senior Running Back
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