BECKLEY — The Princeton Tigers football team kicked off its 2012 season Friday night, traveling to Beckley to take on the Woodrow Wilson Flying Eagles.
The Eagles had put up 110 points and run wild on the Tigers' kick coverage in their previous two meetings and first year head coach Randy Peek knew that the key defensively was to emphasize work on special teams.
Not to mention, facilitating player physical conditioning, installing a new offense, implementing a new defense and many other things related to building a freshly inherited program.
Peek is in his first year at the helm, after long-time coach Ted Spadaro retired just before summer practice began.
What Peek learned, however, was that his team needs practice on form tackling and basic football fundamentals -- so many times the case early in the season with any team. A lot of topics are mere speculation early in the season like this.
Although the Tigers provided good kick coverage and containment all night long, which prevented the Eagles from breaking “the long one” on them, they couldn't quite muster the offensive output to keep up with the Eagles and fell by the score of 14-32, on a beautiful first night for high school football across the state.
The outing proved much better than previous contests with Woodrow and showed signs of improvement, but there is much work to be done.
The Eagles' Chase Hancock ran for two first half touchdowns and quarterback Andrew Johnson scored on two runs of his own, to outlast, outreach and out-produce the Tigers. Their big offensive line was key in churning up 383 rushing yards and another 97 yards through the air. Many times, Eagle runners were able to spin free of a would-be Tiger defender and squirt forward for additional yardage, a few times reaching pay-dirt in the process.