The Salado Eagles went 7-5 in 2016 and averaged 25 points a game along the way. But take away three losses in which they scored a total of three points, and they averaged 34 a game.
After a pair of season-opening losses to Troy (15-3) and Comfort (20-0), Salado reeled off four wins before dropping a district contest to Lorena, and then another two weeks later to Robinson.
Salado closed out regular season with a win over Waco Connally to wrap up third place in District 9-4A DII and a date with La Grange in the bi-district round. Fans of this playoff game got their money’s worth as it came down to a trick play in overtime.
Salado scored first in overtime to take a 35-28 lead. La Grange scored and lined up for an extra-point kick. The snap was good, the kicker approached and the placeholder pulled the ball and rolled to his left. While looking for a receiver the Eagles defense swarmed him and forced an errant pass that fell incomplete. Salado won, 35-34.
The season ended in the area round to a Bellville team that got bounced the next round by eventual state champion West Orange-Stark.
Salado returns a lot of defensive players and some key spots on offense that could have the Eagles flying into the playoffs once again in 2017.
RB Jake Harvey, ILB Tate Hill
Jake Harvey was a first-team all-district selection, running behind senior guard Noah Barker.
Hill was the leader of the defense and first-team all-district selection.
C Willy Whigham, RB Aaron Torczynski, FB Trey Sheppard
The Eagles will return two running backs who’ll operate behind an experienced line that includes Whigham and offensive tackle Robert Soto.
On defense, linebacker Wyatt Bagley will direct the Eagles, and he’ll have a good supporting cast in defensive end Arron Pfleeger, tackle Zach Adams, cornerback Cutter Hudgens and safety Tate Harvey.
Kicker Jake Walrath also returns.
Salado has the right ingredients to make the playoffs for a third straight year, and the schedule sets up nicely.
The season starts at the very nice stadium at Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton against Troy. The Eagles get Comfort at home this year, and then they travel to Austin’s Hyde Park in Week 3. Florence pays a visit and then Salado goes back to the Austin area to face the newly-opening Tom Glenn High School in the highly-successful Leander ISD.
Salado opens district at home Oct. 13 against the Fairfield Eagles, travel to Lorena and get Mexia and Robinson at home before ending the season at Connally.
And then, it’s most likely postseason time again for Salado.
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