Squadron extends playoff streak
Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 3, 2005
Calera has long been known as a power in basketball, but the Eagle football team does have a storied past of being in the playoffs. And the Eagles have worked to repeat history by making its fourth-straight playoff appearance this Friday at Highland Home.
And Brad Adams' Eagles aren't happy just to be in the playoffs. Last season the Eagles advanced beyond the first round for the first time only to fall in the second round. Now, Adams and the Eagles are looking to advance beyond the second round.
“We want to try to get a little further than before,” Adams said. “We want to move on further. We expect to be there now, and we expect to win when we get there.”
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That may be easier said than done this Friday when the Eagles visit Highland Home, which is making its 11th-straight appearance in the playoffs.
“They are very athletic, move well and execute well,” Adams said of the Flying Squadron. “I think we've got to play 100 percent and execute well to make it a good game.”
While the two have a varying past when it comes to playoff history, the two teams are similar in makeup. Calera is a sophomore-laden team just like Highland Home. The Eagles have 24 sophomores on its squad and just one senior on both sides of the ball. Highland Home has 17 sophomores on its team that also has just one senior starter on the squad.
“We are pretty close to the same age wise,” Adams said.
Calera’s success has been based on its power running game led by sophomore running back Caderius Lacey, who has rushed for 1,208 yards and 13 touchdowns. Lacey was held out of last week's game with Fultondale last week with a neck injury. Freshman running back Eric Burrels filled in last week, rushing for 186 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns in the 32-12 victory.
Highland Home (8-2) has been able to mount a balanced attack through out the season. The Flying Squadron averages 361 yards of total offense with sophomore quarterback Deymond Sankey leading the attack. Sankey has accounted for 17 touchdowns by rushing for 11 and rushing for six. Sankey is the team's leading rusher with 777 yards on 104 carries, while he has completed 37-of-71 passes for 909 yards.
While Highland Home was not in a dominating region this year, Flying Squadron coach Bob Farrior said that its intra-county games with Brantley and Luverne more than prepares his team for the playoffs.
“When you play a team like Brantley, it gets you ready for the playoffs,” Farrior said. “And Luverne has always been a benchmark.”