The Eldorado Eagles had no opponent last week and still managed to break into the top 25 in the statewide Harris poll. They came in at 22 among the 91 teams competing in 2A Division II.

That puts the Warbirds slightly behind the Menard Yellowjackets who came in at 20 and well ahead of the other four teams in District 8-2A. Miles was ranked 41st followed by Chistoval-50, Rocksprings-55 and Irion County-81.

“We had a very good open week last week,” Eagles Head Coach Michael Johnson said. “It gave us the opportunity to heal up a bit and continue to work on the details we need to focus on for us to be successful. The kids handled the week real well.”

Following the bye week, the Eagles will travel to Mertzon on Friday to take on the Irion County Hornets in what may well be the Eagles final game at O.K. Wolfenbarger Field.

Facing declining enrollment, Irion County ISD has made the apparent decision to begin playing six-man football once UIL’s two-year realignment schedule is complete. The school’s sub-varsity teams are already playing six-man ball.

The Hornets varsity team is slated to play in Eldorado in the fall of 2019 in what may be the final game between the two teams.

Coach Johnson says his defense will have to play well against the Hornets.

“Irion County has had some success these last two games running the ball with Nathan Chacon and Jace Contreras,” Johnson said. “Defensively we will need to do a great job of maintaining our gaps and arriving to the ball aggressively. Jaakan Jurecek and Edgar Martinez have had a good week at the linebacker position with seeing their keys and playing fast. Our D-line continues to impress me each and every day.”

The Eagles offense used the open week to tweak some things to take advantage of their freshman quarterback’s skills.

Korbin Covarrubiaz took over the helm of the Eagles offense in week 3 after his brother Kevan went out with a knee injury.

“Korbin has looked pretty sharp at QB. I like the windows that he is putting the ball in, and feel that he is continuing to grow at the position,” Coach Johnson said. “He and the receivers have been working hard to get on the same page. It’s one of those deals we as coaches are working through to tailor the offense to Korbin’s strengths.”

Johnson said the Eagles special teams also used the off week to fine tune their game.

The Eagles are 2-3 heading into Friday night’s game after defeating TLCA 54-18 and Brackett 30-19, both of them larger schools.

Two of the three games the Warbirds lost were to larger schools, as well. They fell 22-0 to Winters in Old Bobcat Stadium in San Angelo after the EHS homecoming game was moved because of torrential rains.

The Eagles also lost to the #16 ranked McCamey Badgers 25-24 in McCamey in a game that most of the experts thought would be much more lopsided.

The only school the Eagles have played this season with approximately the same enrollment was Iraan. They lost to the #9 ranked Braves 12-8 at Larry Mitchel Stadium in Week 4 of the season. Once again, most of the experts expected Iraan to have an easier time of it.

The Eagles played well throughout their non-district schedule in games with pride on the line but nothing in the way of playoff implications.

That all changes Friday night as the Warbirds enter district play in Mertzon and the battle for the District 8-2A crown begins.

“We know that we are now entering the district season every game matters at this point. The intensity will be increased on both sides this week simply because the you have a district championship and playoffs on the line,” Coach Johnson said. “You can see that our kids are excited and ready to get back to action on the field.”

Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. at O.K. Wolfenbarger Field in Mertzon. Everyone is encouraged to make the trip and support the Eagles as they begin their quest for a district title.