RANTOUL — Following the 44-6 loss to the Monticello Sages Friday night the Eagles turned their attention to this week’s match up against the also 0-4 St. Thomas More Sabers. 

The two squads met at Memorial Stadium last year,  and Rantoul blew a big second half lead, falling to STM 50-38. 

Eagles head coach Tom Hess said last year’s game serves as motivation for this year.

“We gave the game away last year,” Hess said. “The kids would like some redemption this year.”

Last year is not the only thing that gives the Eagles an extra boost for the match up with the Sabers.

“The kids look at this game as a rivalry,” Hess said. “There are some kids on STM that are from Rantoul, so they are excited.”

In order to beat STM Hess knows there are things his team will have to do better.

“We need to execute better on offense, and on defense we need be a little better at open field tackling,” Hess said.

 Despite the 0-4 record Hess is confident in his team’s chances against anyone.

“I do believe that if we execute our assignments we have a chance against anyone we face,” Hess said.

Through the tough start Hess has seen major improvements to his team.

“The culture of our team is definitely improving,” Hess said. Through the tough times the kids are sticking together and staying positive.”

The Sabers are coming off a 35-14 loss to undefeated Illinois Valley Central.

The Eagles hung tough against Monticello for a while. Rantoul trailed 7-0 after the first quarter and 17-0 at half. The Eagles got on the board in the fourth quarter on a 54-yard Robert Bufford run.

You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@Rantoulpress.com or on twitter @RyanBirchRP