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Brandon: 2014 football preview

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Mon. August 18, 2014 | Brandon Wright

Brandon: 2014 football preview

Brandon

Coach: Dean Eychner (third season, 4-16)

Last season: 3-7

Class/district: 7A-8

Colors: Maroon and white

Stadium: E.F. McLane Stadium, 1101 Victoria Ave., Brandon

Playoff history: 1969, 1977, 1985, 1996, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011

Last appearance: Lost 37-0 to Tampa Bay Tech.

Season schedule

Aug. 29 vs. Blake, 7:30

Sept. 5 at Bloomingdale, 7:30

Sept. 12 vs. Riverview, 7:30

Sept. 19 vs. Strawberry Crest, 7:30

Sept. 26 at Chamberlain, 7:30

Oct. 2 at Middleton, 7

Oct. 17 vs. Durant, 7:30

Oct. 24 at East Bay, 7:30

Oct. 31 at Plant City, 7:30

Nov. 7 vs. Berkeley Prep, 7:30

Mark your calendar

Strawberry Crest at Brandon, Sept. 19: Brandon coach Dean Eychner scanned over his team's schedule and couldn't pinpoint a game that was more must-win than another. "We'll deal with the games one at a time." But in the stingy 7A-8, the district opener against Strawberry Crest will be huge. Last year the Chargers thumped the Eagles 46-0.

Huddle highlights

Growing pains: Brandon will have some big holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles graduated their top receiver, running back and quarterback. Speaking of quarterbacks, who will be under center? Two-year starter Brandon Jones, who took all the snaps last year and also added 679 yards on the ground, has graduated.

Down to the wire: Getting out of 7A-8 is going to be tough; and last year’s playoff teams were decided by a Monday tiebreaker. Brandon went winless in the district last season, and Durant will surely rebound from a down season. This could be the most even district, top to bottom, in the county. Brandon has to figure out how to win the close games. Four of Brandon's seven losses last year came by a touchdown or fewer, and the Eagles lost a pair of district games by three points total.

Known quantities

FS Damon Spencer, Sr.: Spencer is the most athletic player on the Brandon roster and has offers from Alcorn, Colgate and North Dakota State.

DB/OLB John Preyer, Sr.: Preyer is a throwback player who excels in the classroom. The honor roll student will be counted on heavily to seal the edge for Brandon.

DE Nick Summitt, Sr.: At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Summitt is one of the strongest Eagles on the team.

DE Joe Tkacs, Sr.: Tkacs is a lunch-pail worker who will team with Summitt to give the Eagles a pair of solid bookends along the line.

Up-and-comers

RB Keith Cook, Sr.: Jones ran for 493 more yards than any other Brandon back a year ago. Cook is expected to fill that gap.

QB Isaiah Alexander, Jr.: After a strong offseason, Alexander will get the first crack to replace Jones under center.

ILB Derek Cromartie, Jr.: Cromartie finished with 82 tackles last year but should see that number spike with the loss of John Gianino (team-best 112 tackles).

Coach's corner

"We approach every day with the right attitude. And the work ethic to get better." — Eychner

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