WSN looks to make it three straight

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By By Adam Robinson- Sports Editor
Coming into the Battle of Murder Creek game this week against rival T.R. Miller, the W.S. Neal football team is in a situation that it has not been in since entering the 1973 game.
In 1973, W.S. Neal had just reeled off two straight wins over T.R. Miller in 1971 and 1972. In 1973, T.R. Miller was 8-1 entering the game, and W.S. Neal was 5-4. T.R. Miller won the Battle of Murder Creek against Neal that season 35-6.
This year is a little different. W.S. Neal enters the game with a 2-7 record and is playing their final game of the year, while the Tigers are 9-0 and looking to end their losing streak to the Eagles and make a run in the state playoffs next week.
W.S. Neal Eagle head coach Blaine Hathcock said that after seeing T.R. Miller play earlier in the year, the Tigers have shown much improvement.
While the season has not been the best this year for the Eagle players, staff and seniors, this week could change that. The Eagle seniors will have the chance to go to 3-1 over the Tigers after losing to Miller their freshman year. While the game may mean more to certain people, Hathcock said that it should not pertain to just one group of players, but all.
The 2008 version of the Battle of Murder Creek will be Hathcock's fourth game against Miller.
Hathcock's W.S. Neal teams are 2-1 in the rivalry with those two wins coming in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007.
In 2006, W.S. Neal overcame a big halftime deficit to knock off the No. 1 Tigers 42-35 at T.R. Miller. Last year, the two teams battled to an 8-8 tie in regulation with the Eagles claiming a 14-8 win in overtime at W.S. Neal.
When asked about the two wins and what that says about his team, staff and himself, Hathcock said it did not have anything to do with him or his staff.
“I have said this before, the game itself is not going to change the course of our program or for that matter their program. Where it is, has been or where it is going. I don't one has a direct bearing on the other. We try our very best to prepare our program for the 364 days of the year and we get ready to play them on that one night of the year. I don't think this game will affect our program or their program drastically either way.”
Hathcock said that on Friday night, the key to a W.S. Neal Eagle victory would be starting the game with a good start.

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