LOUISE – When the Pettus Eagles walked off the bus in Louise last week, they left just 13 pairs of footprints on the ground.
That’s just two more than the minimum it takes to play a football game, but that didn’t stop the Eagles from playing all four quarters.
“(Friday) was something very special for me,” said Eagle coach Michael Enriquez about his team’s District 16-2A Division II contest with Louise, which the Eagles lost 47-13 to fall to 0-4 on the year.
“We’ve done some things that I’ve been very proud of since I’ve been in Pettus, and (Friday) night was one of the proudest moments I had,” Enriquez added. “Those kids went out there and competed. You talk about leaving nothing in the tank, that’s what all those kids did.
“We played to the very last whistle.”
Pettus, which opted to delay the start of its season as a safety precaution in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been shorthanded all season.
Injuries have also taken their toll.
But, Enriquez still had 13 players ready for the team’s fourth game of the season.
“That’s a tribute to (the kids),” Enriquez said about his players’ willingness to continue the season.
“Our week was full of ups and downs. We had something happen it seemed like every day this week to challenge the kids. But, they came and practiced.
“... They learned every day and they carried it over to Friday.”
Damian Hernandez scored both of Pettus’ touchdowns during the loss to the Hornets.
First, he returned an interception 70 yards to pay dirt. It was the first of two INTs by the senior for the Eagle defense.
Then, in the fourth quarter, he scored on a 13-yard pass TD from Garett Grayson.
Matthew Carrillo finished as Pettus’ leading rusher with 33 yards on 11 carries.
Grayson was 8 for 13 for 66 yards through the air.
Hernandez had five grabs for 63 yards.
Drae Davis led the Eagle defense with 11 tackles, including eight solo takedowns and one tackle for loss.
Grayson and Elias Bridge both had six tackles.
Enriquez was frank and candid when asked how this year compares to any other he’s faced as a coach during his career.
“I can’t imagine anything that even comes close to this,” he said. “... This one is just a little bit of everything.
“You can’t match this calendar next to any other. ... It’s very different.”
The Eagles face two must-win contests over the final two weeks of their season if they want to play into the postseason for the first time since 2016.
“Our goal for the rest of the season is to go 2-0,” said Enriquez. “That’s the only thing we can control. Our goal for this week is to go 1-0.
“This group is just different. They’re a special little group. ... They understand where we’re at.”
The Eagles will host Runge in their final home contest of the year at James V. Beauchamp Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Friday.