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Gridiron Preview: A Rivalry Renewed

This Friday Night, the #8 ranked (6-0) Carmi-White County Bulldogs will host the (2-4) Eldorado Eagles at Harrington-Jeffries Sports Complex. The Bulldogs have already clinched a playoff spot, from this point forward it’s all about playoff positioning and seeding as we near the end of the regular season. A loss for Eldorado will eliminate them from playoff contention for the 2nd straight season. 

The Eagles started the season 0-3, falling to Fairfield on the road 34-14, Johnston City at home 42-16 and Flora on the road 20-16. But they turned things around in weeks 4 and 5, defeating Vienna-Goreville 42-16 and Hamilton County 22-13. Eldorado almost pulled off the upset of the season in week 6, falling to Sesser-Valier 27-26. The Eagles led 20-7 at halftime, and had the ball on the Sesser-Valier 4-yard line down by one in the final minute. Eldorado ran four straight run plays, and all four were stuffed by the Red Devil defense. That loss means the Eagles are now one loss away from being eliminated from playoff contention. With that being the case, there is no doubt that Eldorado will play with energy and fire. With two winnable games coming up in weeks 8 and 9 (CZR & Edwards County), the Eagles know they have to win this game.

Eldorado has improved as the season has gone along. After dropping their first 3 games, the Eagles started to figure things out on the offensive side of the ball. Parker Price is the do-it-all man for Eldorado. Price is a 4-year starter, in his 2nd year as the starting quarterback, and he has been successful in the air and on the ground in 2022. Price has rushed for 555 yards with 5 touchdowns, and he has thrown for 420 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. When Price doesn’t run it himself, he has three different guys to hand the ball off to. Jake Phelps is a sophomore who has rushed it 35 times for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns, senior Josh Owens has carried the rock 27 times for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns, and junior Ashton Robinson has scored 7 touchdowns on 62 carries with 195 yards, including 2 touchdowns last week against Sesser-Valier. Owens is the leading receiver for Eldorado, he has caught 16 of Price’s passes for 413 yards and 2 touchdowns, including 5 receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown last week. As an offense, the Eagles will use a combination of the spread and the T-formation when they have the ball. They like to use Parker the same way the Baltimore Ravens use Lamar Jackson. He is just as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm.

“They have potential to score some points,” said CWC head coach Kurt Simon. “They’re playing good right now, and they’re playing for their playoff lives. They have to win out to get in the playoffs.”

“They have definitely gotten better throughout the season,” Simon added. “You can tell that they are more confident. Our biggest concern is that we can’t give up the big play.”

The Bulldogs are coming off a 43-14 win over Edwards County. The Bulldogs first-team offense was off the field by the halfway mark of the 2nd quarter, it’s safe to say that probably will not happen again for the rest of the season. Some may say the playoffs begin this week for CWC. This week they will face an Eldorado team fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive, potentially undefeated Johnston City next week, and they will host Flora in week 9 who will also be fighting for their playoff lives. 

The Bulldogs are expected to be fully healthy come Friday night. Senior running back, Draxtyn Aud, missed last week’s game with an ankle injury. Simon says Aud will be at about 95% on Friday, and does expect him to play. predicts the Bulldogs will win by 30 points. 

Kickoff is set for 7 PM. The Bulldogs will be honoring current military, veterans and first responders with free admission at the gate for Military and First Responders Appreciation Night. For fans that can’t attend, we’ll have all the action on 97.3 FM WRUL, and on the WRUL Sports YouTube Channel with the Taylor Eye Care pre-game show beginning at 6:45 PM.


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