Salado's Cutter Hudgens, right, breaks up a pass intended for Troy's Isaac Ross at Crusader Stadium on Aug. 26.

The Salado Eagles didn’t get the final result they wanted in Week 1 of the 2016 season.

Last Friday at Belton’s Crusader Stadium, the Eagles trailed Troy 6-3 at halftime, 9-3 with three minutes left to play and ultimately were defeated 15-3.

But the Eagles did discover two things about themselves.

They hit.

And they have a solid defense.

“Our defense pursued the football and had great energy,” said Salado first-year head coach Alan Haire. “They kept us in the ballgame.”

Four who stood out for Salado were free safety Tate Harvey, cornerback Quade Brown and linebackers Tate Hill and Jacob Wilk.

“Tate Harvey is just a sophomore and he came through with an interception and fumble recovery,” Haire said. “Jacob Wilk and Tate Hill made quite a few great plays and they were constantly rallying to the football.

“And Quade Brown had several key plays. He contained real well. He knows how to get himself in the proper position for us.”

On the defensive line, Eagles Willy Whigham and Jay Quintanilla each came through with a big game against Troy.

“Those two gave great effort up front and they were playing with some purpose,” Haire said.

Tonight, the Eagles (0-1) travel to face Comfort (0-1).

“Comfort is a playoff team from last year and they’re very good,” Haire said. “It will be a good ballgame.”

Haire is happy with the week of practice the Eagles put in.

“Our kids responded real well and we’re working to get better,” he said. “I was proud of their effort in last week’s game. I wish things could have worked out better but I like the way our kids have responded.

“We’re using these nondistrict games to prepare us for down the road.”

Contact Allan Mandell at or 254-501-7566 and read his column at

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