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Season-ending loss doesn’t dampen Eagles

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By Jonathan Maness

Sports Correspondent

The record for the Adams City football team doesn’t show it, and the scoreboard may not reflect it. But the Eagles are going in the right direction. 

The season for the Eagles came to a close Friday in a 14-0 loss to Boulder at home in the season finale. And while it is easy to say it was a forgettable season for a squad that lost all 10 of their games, coach Jesse Jones knows his team is heading in the right direction. 

“We are almost a JV team playing at a varsity level,” Jones said. “We didn’t have great size or have the biggest roster. But I can proudly say my guys played harder than any other team. From whistle to whistle, we never stop.”

That was apparent on Friday when the Eagles’ defense made life difficult for the Panthers. Adams City held Boulder to only 234 total yards and constantly came up with stop after stop despite being outmatched against bigger opponents. Jacob Marquez had a tackle for a loss, while Alonzo Ibarra and Leo Enciso each recovered a fumble for the Eagles. 

“I can’t say enough about those guys,” Jones said. “They made the stops and the adjustments that forced Boulder to punt and got the ball back for us. We just couldn’t take advantage of that.”

A muffed punt inside Adams City’s 10-yard-line set up the Panthers’ first touchdown. A big punt return in the first half was called back due to a holding call, and the offense continued to struggle as injuries at the quarterback position derailed the Eagles.

Starting quarterback Alexis Murillo was injured the fifth week of the season and didn’t return. Francisco Rodriguez stepped in but was injured against Prairie View. The injuries forced the Eagles to move star wide receiver Liban Shongolo from his natural position at wide receiver to play quarterback for the season finale. 

“Liban is just so talented,” Jones said. “His heart is at wide receiver, and that’s where he is at his best. But he was gracious enough to step back there and help us out. He did a good job, but we just couldn’t get it done.”

Shongolo is part of the senior class that Jones will miss this year. But the Eagles did have the advantage of playing a lot of the younger players  

“We needed two of each of those seniors this year,” Jones said. “We were rolling with a lot of sophomores, and so we have a lot of upside. To keep the program going forward is a challenge. It’s a selling job, and sometimes you have to sell people on themselves.”