Arab's Will Caneer

It appears that Will Caneer will add kickoff duties to his resume. He had a good game kicking off last week against Brewer.

The last two times Arab played Douglas in high school football, the Knights outscored them 110-26 in a pair of 5A, Region 7 games.

“That’s before we got here,” Arab coach Lee Ozmint is quick to point out.

More importantly, perhaps, it was before head coach Brandon Lyles got to Douglas. This year, for the third straight season since Lyles took over in 2020, the Eagles have started 2-0.

In fact, they’ve started 3-0 the last two seasons and whipped Susan Moore 37-7 and DAR 56-7 so far this season. The DAR victory last week is the only one Lyles has been happy about so far.

“I see a team that’s scored nearly 100 points in two games,” Ozmint said. “They’re going to be a formidable opponent.”

Like Arab under Ozmint, Douglas is reaching standards of play rarely seen in its past. Douglas hasn’t gone winless very many years since it started play in 1970, but there have been lots more losing seasons than winning ones.

That may be changing under Lyles.

Douglas’ staff wasn’t wholly pleased with the 37-7 win over Susan Moore to start the season. But attitudes changed the next week.

Douglas defeated DAR for the first time since 2012, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

The 56 points are the most Douglas has scored in series history.

“I’m proud of our kids,” Lyles told The Sand Mountain Reporter. “It’s been three years since we played DAR. The seniors came here as freshmen and got embarrassed.

“Last week, the adrenaline let emotions get the best of us and we didn’t execute. Tonight, we executed offensively and defensively and controlled the line of scrimmage.”

The Eagles led 35-0 at halftime.

Dakota Stewart rushed 1 yard for a touchdown with 8:08 left in the first quarter, and he added a 3-yard TD run with 2:57 remaining to make it 14-0. Douglas kicker Judah Bearden converted 8-of-8 extra points.

Jonathan Fountaine ripped off a 70-yard touchdown with 11 minutes to play in the second quarter. Twenty seconds later, Landon Abernathy collected a 27-yard pick-six for the Eagles.

But the offensive player who has really grabbed Arab coaches’ attention this past week is quarterback

Eli Teal. He tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Brody Campbell, making it 35-0 with 2:34 on the clock against DAR. He finished 5-of-9 passing for 104 yards, and he rushed three times for 63 yards.

“He’s a good quarterback and they can score some points,” Arab defensive coordinator Kyle Routon said. “He’s just a good high school football player.

“He doesn’t excel in any one area. The thing he does is make plays.”

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