SEQUIM — Most of the problems the Olympic Peninsula Eagles had in their first game of the season don”t figure to be much of a factor in the team’s first home game at Sequim High School on Saturday night.
Missing players will be able to show up for a game that’s close to home, rather than Bellingham.
And all of the turmoil that goes along with a 3½-hour road trip will not exist.
That’s just how important home field is in the Pacific Northwest Football Conference.
The fact is, in the PNFC some guys actually have to work on Saturdays.
Last Saturday afternoon, the semipro football team didn’t even have all of its starters, with just 27 players showing up for a 27-18 loss to the Northwest Avalanche in Bellingham.
The Eagles had to make due with only five offensive linemen — one of which got hurt near the beginning of the third quarter — as well as just three defensive backs.
Eagles head coach Dick Suess expects his entire complement of players to be suited up in the crimson-and-silver for Saturday’s game against the Skagit Valley Lightning that starts at 6 p.m. in Sequim.
“We’re going to be at full strength on Saturday,” head coach Dick Suess said.
“We went through the first game giving everybody equal playing time, but now we’re settled with who’s going to be playing where.”
Instead of the five offensive linemen that Suess and offensive coordinator Mike McMahan had to work with against the Northwest Avalanche, the Eagles will suit up eight.
Against the undermanned Lightning, Suess said the Eagles will likely lean on their running game.
“They are pretty talented at the skill positions,” Suess said of Skagit Valley after scouting them on Saturday night, “but they only had five or six linemen and they were going both ways.“They just wore down, so we’ll pound the ball against them.”