The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Football: Cream Rising To the Top

  • Eldorado working way up BDC ladder
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  • So far Brandon Hampton hasn't had to temper any talk about anything other than "the next game."
    The sixth year Eldorado head football coach has rebuilt and remodeled the Eagles into a legitimate contender in the Black Diamond Conference, where after four games, Eldorado is unbeaten at 4-0.
    Research says that Eldorado has never won a Black Diamond Conference championship and Hampton assures that's goal No. 1 on his teams checklist.
    No. 2 — get into the playoffs, which the Eagles had done in 2011 and 2012, before missing out last year and lastly, win a playoff game. The last playoff win for Eldorado came in 1988. The last time Eldorado hosted a playoff game was 1997 when they lost to Red Hill at Boz Adams.
    "We've talked about all of that on Day 1 and our kids now what are goals are," Hampton said. "We don't talk about it after that first day. What we do talk about is the next game and the next game is Hamilton County."
    It's also Rivalry Week in the Black Diamond Conference, which means Hampton has tempered even more talk about what's important this week.
    "Right now Hamilton County is the most important game on the schedule and our kids will tell you that, because it's the next game on the schedule. That's how we tend to focus."
    Hampton credits his teams seniors for shifting focus to what's important and preaching a good message.
    "That's what's been fun about coaching this team is we've got great leadership and of course, our message to the guys is block out the noise, just take care of business, and get better each and every day."
    Hamilton County is off an 0-4 start — this coming off an 0-9 campaign a year ago — while Mark Beitler and the Foxes are still searching for that elusive win.
    Former Hamilton County head coach and now offensive coordinator Jeff Rush has been able to produce just six points in 56 quarters.
    In four games, Eldorado has forced 17 turnovers and remains one of the best defenses in southern Illinois with three shutouts, allowing just six points and because of the Eagles' success on defense, Hampton knows has been key for his offense.
    "Last week our offense didn't have a lot of of yards, because it was plus-30 or plus-40 going into the endzone," Hampton said. "Our defense gave our offense a short field to work with. the defense is playing at a high level and we know to be successful Friday on the road, we have to dominate the guy across from us and not give up the big play.
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