The Idaho Statesman is previewing high school football teams and conferences in the Treasure Valley area for 18 days leading up to the season, which starts Aug. 26. Follow IdahoStatesman.com for a list of all the previews.
Eagle had no trouble finding the end zone in 2015, averaging 43.1 points per game during the regular season, second most in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference.
Former Meridian High coach Mike Virden — who led the Warriors to a state title in 2005 — takes over as the Mustangs’ offensive coordinator, setting up a potentially dominant combination alongside Eagle’s eight returning starters.
But it’s not just the skill players who have head coach Paul Peterson so excited.
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The Mustangs return their entire offensive line in Alec Kuzmack (RT), Maxim Moore (RG), Will Elfering (C), Brennan Condie (LG) and Mitchell Nielson (LT).
“Our offensive line is experienced. It’s big. It’s athletic,” Peterson said. “I think that they’re comfortable with anything that’s going to come their way. As long as we stay healthy, I think we’re going to have a very productive offensive line.”
With an abundance of talent on the O-line — Kuzmack has committed to Washington State, and Moore has multiple offers — Peterson is confident the Mustangs will be successful running the ball.
That doesn’t mean Eagle won’t turn to the air. Junior Devan Bridgewater will start at quarterback for the second year in a row, and receivers Karl Thomas and Nathan Buich provide experience at receiver.
Add in five returning starters on defense, and the Mustangs appear on track for a ninth consecutive state playoff appearance.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alec Kuzmack, OL
The Washington State commit and two-year starter at right tackle is one of the biggest players on the Mustangs’ roster at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds.
Maxim Moore, OL/DL
Coach Paul Peterson said the 6-3, 300-pound senior right guard has offers from Montana State, Weber State, Idaho and Army.
Todd Durham, OLB
The 5-11, 195-pound senior was a first-team, all-5A SIC selection last season and will be a three-year starter.
Brennan Condie, OL/DL
Primarily starts at left guard, and the 5-9, 205-pounder is the only player in Peterson’s tenure to start all four years on varsity.
at Mountain View
at Timberline (DLP)*
at Borah (DLP)*
* pod game
Last year: 7-4, 4-1 5A SIC Pod B
Playoffs: Lost to Highland 29-27 in quarterfinals
Coach: Paul Peterson, 12th season
Record at school: 85-32
Stadium: Thunder Stadium, Eagle