The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Football: Double Down

  • Eagles look for 2-0 start to season & back-to-back wins against Carmi-White County
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  • It's arguably one of Brandon Hampton's biggest wins as head coach for Eldorado.
    A Week 1 victory last season against Carmi-White County was the culmination of five years of hard work that Hampton and his coaching staff had put into reviving the Eagle program.
    On the flipside, the win was just that — a win. Injuries riddled the Eagles down the stretch and Eldorado missed the playoffs for the first time in two years.
    The loss for Carmi-White County seemed to prove as a wakeup call as the Bulldogs played flawlessly down the stretch. Carmi-White County finished the season 6-4 after a 45-0 playoff loss to Casey-Westfield. In the last six regular season games of the Black Diamond Conference schedule, the Bulldogs lost just once to Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn.
    The Bulldogs didn't lose much off last year's roster either as Chase Sailor returns to a potent offense in his senior season.
    Hampton knows that Carmi-White County will come in with a chip on their shoulder and revenge on their mind.
    "I think that loss last year has been a rally cry for them for the better part of 12 months," Hampton said. "The last three years, all of our games have come right down to the wire. We really dominated on both lines of scrimmage and I would expect an even more physical matchup this time around."
    Carmi-White County was Hampton's choice for BDC champion this season and the choice had more to do with what Hampton calls the "most talented player in southern Illinois in Chase Sailor."
    "It's going to be a real challenge for us. They have some good personnel defensively and they really have some playmates, other than Chase Sailor.
    "This game will be a great measuring stick — for both clubs," Hampton said. "We both won and won big last week. Neither game was ever in doubt and neither ream faced any adversity. It's two of the best teams in the conference and Carmi was my pick to win it. For us, we get them at home and we'll find out what kind of football team we have."
    The Eagles had much success on the ground Week 1 against Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn and following the logic, if it's not broke, don't fix it, Hampton doesn't expect much to change.
    "We are who we are," he said. "We do what we do and do it really well. We have to hang onto the football and we have a lot of depth in the backfield. It's nice to know we can give a kid a break or two if he needs it."
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