Mike’s Take: Don’t Give the Terriers a Bone

DISCLAIMER: This is just my observation from watching the Byrd vs Magna Vista game Sat. These are just my opinions.

– Mike Doyle
In addition to sales and serving as the host of Hymn Time on Cable 12, Mike Doyle is this season’s color commentator for Eagle Football on Cable 12. He has also been a spotter for the station for decades.

There are lots of returning players for Byrd. Most notable is QB Dylan Hatfield returning from a shortened season from a knee injury, stronger than ever. Hatfield presents a dual threat: he may be the leading ground gainer for Byrd Friday along with a gun for an arm. With targets like Hunter Harris and Ethan Tinsley, Hatfield will not hesitate to put the ball in the air. 

If The Eagle defensive backs do their job,  we will definitely will see a lot of the running back transfer from Roanoke Catholic EL ‘Amin Shareef. The senior is not only a talented ball toater but can receive a pass when needed. 

Don’t let your guard down because you also have the running back in disguise: Hatfield coming off tackle. I don’t think the Terriers are running a single runner backfield.

Don’t “Give these dogs a bone”. Play every play, four quarters, and don’t waste a play. That one play you let down may be the “milk bone” they need.


When the chips are down, look for Coach Lutz to call on the Hatfield/Tinsley connection for the big play.

On the other side of the ball is a quick, big defensive line and linebackers the likes of duo Richards and Richards, Rosenbery and a familiar name: Lutz. At Magna Vista this crew put a hurting on the good Magna Vista offense and as in many years past relied on the BIG play to keep the Warriors in the game.

If there were any weak spots in their first game last week against Magna Vista, it would be:

1. Kick Coverage, which goes against one of the strengths of the Eagle team in their first outing. 

2.Mental errors (delay procedure, false start errors) that really cut down on the score on last weeks (22-19) victory over Magna Vista in the Hole AT Magna Vista. That victory margin does not take in consideration a quick whistle removed from the Byrd’s 22-point victory.

Looking ahead, Byrd can score quickly and often. If the Hatfield “rocket-for- an-arm” is not enough, he is not above taking a stab at a one man offense if need be and taking it off tackle.

The Franklin County defense will have a lot of juggling to do and will not get away with over-pursuit and leaving home.

Franklin County’s offense will be facing a different type of defense this week . Byrd is big AND quick. Eagle RB’s will need to hit the hole quicker. Last week most of the tackles were made by the linebackers and defensive backs. For the Eagles offense to be as successful this week they would like the Terrier LB and defensive backs to be making the tackles this week.

Eli Foutz did a great job last week. He had a lot of time to pick out his receivers because of a great offensive line. Byrd will try to change that this week. If the Terrier linemen can’t do it, Lutz will turn his line backers loose to try to keep the 1st year Eagle General from connecting with Luckett, Wright, and England (he’ll let the dogs out!).

For that to make a difference, Byrd must stop a stable of thoroughbreds. Smith, Bowles, and Belcher, among others. 

The Eagles played a great game Thursday night. That’s over. It wasn’t a district win. This week is a different game at a different stadium, with an all-together different opponent.

There were many things that stood out in this edition of the Eagle grid fellows’. Last week was about the best offensive play calling I have seen of an Eagle team in a while (whoever was doing that). The Eagles kept all the options open, like throwing some when it wasn’t 3rd down.

The Eagles were not forced to play someone else’s game. I used the word “methodical” several times last week during the Northside game to describe their offense. Even the kickoff “placement” and fake punt was like a chess game. Why just use those weapons when you are forced to? It was a great job by the offense.

Before the game last Thursday, we [Cable 12 crew] all discussed just how the new defense would rise to the occasion. I was impressed. Now this week, I’m asking how will this team take it to the next level. To come off with their first district win, the Eagles will have to step it up another notch. The Terriers have skilled players to write home about, AND defensive line and linebackers that can eat your lunch if you give them half a chance.

Don’t “Give these dogs a bone”. Play every play, four quarters, and don’t waste a play. That one play you let down may be the “milk bone” they need.