curacy is getting better and better. It will depend on what we see as to whether we open up the passing game.”
Defensively, the Eagles will need to stop the run and clean up the secondary. Wray played much of the game at safety due to some missed assignments by Eastside’s secondary and Alexander may see more time at linebacker as Brandon Petit is nursing a sore ankle and will not play.
“I always say you play the best team you have,” Hurst said. “I would hate to lose a game knowing my best players weren’t playing.”
That sentiment may raise some concern for Eagle fans especially with Wray who played nearly the entire Stephens County game. But Hurst keeps things in perspective and doesn’t worry about losing his star quarterback to injury.
“Of course there is always a concern he [Wray] may get injured but we need him to play defense,” he said. “We are only going to use him when we need him. If the situation calls for it, we’ll use him.”
At 5-0, the Eagles are off to the best start in school history. But Hurst dismisses any talk of a perfect season and said it’s way to early to think about going undefeated.
“It’s on the back of the coaches minds, sure,” admitted Hurst. “But look, we have a lot more football left to play. We have tough games and tough teams to play starting tonight against Hart County.”
Hurst is no stranger to perfect seasons. As a member of the 1996 Americus team that came to within a game of winning the 1A state title, he looks at the similarities between the two teams but stops short of making any direct comparisons.
“Offensively, this team is better, but we have to get better defensively,” he said. “Right now, we are relying on our offense and we are scoring a lot of points. We have to stop the run, but I think we are getting there.”
The Eagles will play a Hart County team that skunked Jackson County 41-0 Friday. Coming from Americus, Hurst knows a small town football community can be a tough place to play.
“We just have to play better for the whole game and we have to be aggressive on both sides of the ball,” he said. “We need to stay in our gaps and play assignment football and we should be in good shape.”