The progress is showing.
Time will tell if the wins follow suit.
Hennessey did drop to 0-3 on the season last Friday as it was defeated 27-21 at Hinton in the Eagles’ final non-district game.
“I was very proud of the way our kids fought,” said head coach Mark Cox. “I thought they battled their tails off.”
The 21 points nearly matched Hennessey’s total from its first two games combined (22).
And the 27 points by Hinton, which improved to 3-0, was the fewest its scored by 10 points this season. Also, neither Merritt nor Marietta kept the Comets within a single score.
Yet, the Eagles were there after the final buzzer, even if they had to pull a few tricks out of the bag.
That included a reverse early in the fourth quarter with the team trailing 20-7.
The play saw Weston Smith - usually on the receiving end of touchdowns - launching an 82-yard scoring strike to Kevin Trillo.
Cox did his best to keep the momentum and it worked as the Eagles recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff.
Unfortunately, Hennessey couldn’t capitalize on the good fortune.
Hinton pushed its lead back to two scores with 1:59 to play when Jake Wright found the end zone on an 18-yard run.
However, Hennessey stayed in it when Carson Riddle took the kickoff back 81 yards for a touchdown.
Hinton was more prepared for the next onside kick and the Comets were able to recover and ride out the clock.
As has been their calling card, the Comets kept to the ground.
They rushed 49 times for 296 yards and attempted just four passes all night.
“Hinton is a very physical team and our kids responded to that well and played a more physical football game themselves than we had played in our first two games,” Cox said.
Trillo led the defense with 12 tackles.
Isaac Renteria added nine and Zack Tillman eight.
Jakob Johns was in on seven stops, including five of the Eagles’ seven total tackles for loss.
The offense, meanwhile, is improving, but still searching for an identity.
Gunnar Holder was 16 of 28 for 97 yards. He also had a 1-yard scoring run in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 7-6 lead.
Smith caught nine of those passes for 52 yards while Trillo’s five receptions tallied 96 yards.
Hennessey managed just 40 yards on 20 rushing attempts.
But, still, Cox saw the improvement. One aspect was conditioning.
“Our kids are getting in better shape and they recognized that, which helped them play with more confidence,” he said.
The Eagles are off this week before returning Sept. 22 to host Oklahoma Christian School in the District 2A-1 opener.
Cox has a game plan for the two full weeks of practice time.
“We're going to emphasize getting better at tackling. We had too many missed tackles against Hinton,” he said.
“And, we're going to work on ball security since we've turned the ball over way too much this season.
“Other than that, we just want to keep improving in general every day and be ready to get into our district schedule next week.”