Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 29, 2014

Rusk Eagle Football: Patton says '14 schedule 'competitive and tough'

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

RUSK —

Rusk High School head athletic director and head football coach, Ted Patton, believes that a proper balance has been struck when it comes to the Eagles' 2014 football schedule.

Rusk will play an equal number of home and road games this fall, but the happy median seems to be the fact that there are games where the Eagles should be competitive with their opponents and others that should tighten the Red and Black up in preparing them for district play later in the season.

“I'm pleased with our non-district schedule,” Patton said. “Some of the games should be close; competitive games while others will be tough and that is a good mix for us.”

Rusk opens up at home on Aug. 29 by entertaining Troup, in a match up that is very intriguing.

“I expect Troup to be tough and they will be a good early test for us,” Patton said. “Their quarterback (Blake Lynch) is a Division I commit and is one of the best around.”

The following week the Eagles host Crockett, before making a visit to Henderson on Sept. 12 for the Eagles' first road test.

“We've played Crockett for the past several years and usually those games have been competitive, so that is a series that we were really interested in maintaining,” Patton said.

On Sep. 19 Rusk welcomes Athens' Hornets to Eagle Stadium in what will be the school's homecoming game.

The following week the Eagles will go to Brownsboro for the final non-conference game.

Rusk will kick off District 7-4A-II play on Oct 10 — after having Oct. 3 off for the bye week — by journeying to Mexia.

On Oct. 17 Rusk hosts Lorena in the annual “Breast Cancer Awareness Game”.

Conference play continues the following week when the Eagles take on the Eagles of Fairfield in Fairfield.

The regular season will wrap up with the Red and Black welcoming in the Goats of Groesbeck on Oct. 31 and traveling to Waco to play Connelly's Cadets on Nov. 7.

“Waco Connelly will be really tough,” Patton said. “They bring all their key players back on offense and I believe they will be the toughest team in the district.”

With the addition of Connelly (260 miles round trip) and Lorena (242 miles round trip), Patton said that he felt that it was important to try to stay close to home for the non-district games.

“We are pleased that there are no long trips in non-district,” Patton said. “Our pre-district travel is pretty minimal.”

Rusk plays four of its first six games at home and that is something that he hopes the Eagles can take advantage of.

“I've found a lot of early travel is never er good for a team,” he said. “It's much better to start out at home where the kids have a routine and the distractions are fewer.

“Also its good because the kids will be able to play in their own stadium and in front of the home fans. We really want to take advantage of that this season.”

 

NOTES: Rusk has two scrimmages on the docket...On Aug. 16 the Red and Black visit Van for a 9 a.m.dress rehearsal...On Aug. 21 Longview Spring Hill comes to Eagle Stadium for a 5 p.m. friendly.”