WEEK 5 PREVIEWS: Eldon returning from COVID for tough road trip to Southern Boone
Eldon football is back.
After missing a week of the season due to COVID-19 quarantine, the Mustangs will be back under the Friday night lights once again with a trip to Southern Boone Friday night at 7 p.m.
And there may be a little excitement in the air.
“A lot of them were worried about losing more time than that,” Eldon coach Chad Hult said of the quarantine where about only 18 players could continue to practice during the week off. “We just tried to break it down to them, ‘Hey, it is just one week,’ but the good news is now they are extra excited to come back and get back on the field.”
Well, up next is an Eagles team that is currently 3-1 in 2020 and has won three straight after a season-opening loss to undefeated Odessa. Southern Boone is averaging 26.5 points per game and allowing 22.5, respectively, and the Eagles are coming off a 38-24 win at Richmond after a scheduled game against Versailles was cancelled.
For Hult, the biggest challenge his team will face in its return to the gridiron Friday night is lining up against a veteran line in the trenches. In last week’s win over Richmond, Southern Boone amassed 456 total yards of offense with 265 of those yards coming on the ground as the team averaged six yards per rush. The Eagles also put up 196 passing yards in the win.
“Up front, they are really experienced and return a lot of guys on the offensive and defensive line so that is going to be their strength. Of course, they are very well coached and Coach (Trent) Tracy does a great job with those guys and has built a skill group around them,” Hult said of the next opponent. “Up front is going to the biggest issue, they have a lot of size and a lot of strength up there.”
Well, Eldon (1-2, 0-1 Tri-County Conference) returns some experience as well in its line so Friday night’s battle should be interesting to see who wins the leverage in the trenches. After three weeks of play, the Mustangs were averaging 26.7 points per game and giving up 34.
In Eldon’s rushing heavy Wing-T offense, junior running back Mason Kirkweg left off as the team’s top rusher with 204 yards and three touchdowns on the season, averaging 8.2 yards per carry. Senior back Owen Levesque has been another threat with 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns (5.1 yards per carry) and sophomore back Krystopher Shepard has totaled 155 rushing yards and three touchdowns in three games with 15.5 yards per rush. Junior back Killian Wilson has put up 74 yards and a touchdown of his own (2.8 yards per carry) and freshman quarterback Hunter Hees has added 67 yards on the ground (3.2 yards per carry) and two scores.
Meanwhile, Hees is 17-39 for 95 yards, a touchdown and interception in the passing game so far in 2020 and his top target has been junior receiver Baylor Pearson who has caught nine passes for 48 yards. Overall, Hees has been able to spread the ball around to six different receivers and senior tight end P.J. Bledsoe, Levesque and Wilson each have two receptions combining for 35 of the quarterback’s passing yards with the lone touchdown pass going to Wilson.
Eldon may be excited to return. Now, the Mustangs are hoping there is plenty of reason to be excited about the rest of the season.
Southern Boone won last season’s game at Eldon, 50-28.
In Eldon’s Wing-T offense it could be a nice night for anyone behind an experience offensive line. After a week off, time will soon tell who emerges and leads the charge.
Just as anyone can have a nice night behind Eldon’s offensive line, the same is probably true for any skill player in Southern Boone’s offense. Win the battle of the trenches and the Mustangs may see their COVID comeback tour start off with a win.