FOOT­BALL

The Covington News - - Sports -

like they did last week against Har­ris County. Wray came out fir­ing and com­pleted two passes for 43 yards in­clud­ing, a 33-yard strike to An­drico Bai­ley on the first play as the Ea­gles marched down the field on their open­ing drive. Wray called his own num­ber for a 15-yard touch­down over the left side and East­side claimed an early 7-0 lead.

Af­ter a three-and-out on its first drive, Al­covy stormed right back on its sec­ond pos­ses­sion. Quar­ter­back PJ Thomp­kins ripped off a 67-yard run up the gut to move the Tigers in­side the 20-yard line. Af­ter an East­side penalty on third-and-3 gave Al­covy a first down, Thomp­kins hit Malachi Out­law on a beau­ti­fully de­signed mid­dle screen pass for a touch­down. Al­covy missed the ex­tra point and trailed 7-6 with 11:52 re­main­ing un­til half­time.

East­side re­sponded quickly as it worked the ball into Al­covy ter­ri­tory on two plays and a 15-yard face mask call against the Tigers. Af­ter Brod­er­ick Alexan­der’s 15yard run put the ball in­side the 30-yard line, Nick Wil­son picked off Wray’s pass over the mid­dle and the Tigers took the ball back in­side their own 20 yard-line.

East­side’s de­fense held, forc­ing Al­covy to punt. But like déjàvu, the Ea­gles worked the ball in­side Al­covy’s 30-yard line be­fore Bryan Daniel made a spec­tac­u­lar jug­gling in­ter­cep­tion to give the Tigers the ball back.

Again the Tigers’

of­fense sput­tered and this time East­side made them pay. Greg Griffi­eth scam­pered 16 yards be­fore Wray broke off a 26-yard gain to move the ball to the 10-yard line. Tony At­wa­ter fin­ished it off with a nifty cut­back run for 8 yards and the Ea­gle led 14-6 go­ing into half­time.

“We have to get bet­ter ever snap ev­ery down and we’re get­ting to that point,” Al­covy coach Kirk Hoff­man said. “I thought we played a lot bet­ter to­day. If you keep pro­gress­ing and keep pro­gress­ing, you never know what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the end.”

Al­covy held its own de­fen­sively in the third quar­ter but the com­bi­na­tion of Git Aikens' speed and At­wa­ter’s elu­sive­ness took its toll on the Tigers’ de­fense in the fourth quar­ter.

The Tigers kept

it

close through­out the sec­ond half un­til late in the game when East­side used the two backs to march 74 yards down the field and score with 2:39 to play.

East­side ini­tially scored af­ter Alexan­der took it in from 8 yards out. But an­other hold­ing penalty wiped the touch­down off the baord. It didn't mat­ter as the Ea­gles turned to Alexan­der once again and he re­sponded with a 2-yard run up the mid­dle for the touch­down.

“I wanted to es­tab­lish the run when we come out and we did that,” Hurst said. “I’m very proud of our of­fen­sive line and our run­ning backs. We took the ball right down the field there and didn’t throw but maybe one time, and drove about 70 yards and stuck it in.

“They’ve (Al­covy) done a good job at get­ting phys­i­cal over there. They took it to us a few times and I think we just out­lasted them.”

Both teams had chances to con­trol the game and even though East­side emerged with the two-touch­down win, Hurst ac­knowl­edged his team faced a tough op­po­nent.

“They did some things that messed up our block­ing schemes and we have to go back and work on that,” he said. “We knew they were go­ing to do it. We prob­a­bly should have run some screens and stuff to slow them down a lit­tle bit more but that’s some­thing that we as coaches have to work on and get bet­ter at.”

Penal­ties hurt both teams through­out the night. The Ea­gles had 12 penal­ties for 110 yards for the game in­clud­ing two ques­tion­able il­le­gal block in the back calls on kicks while Al­covy com­mit­ted seven for 60 yards.

In the end, East­side’s bal­anced rush­ing at­tack wore down Al­covy’s de­fense and while the of­fense sput­tered, Hoff­man knows his team gave ev­ery­thing they had.

“When you play good teams, some­thing has to break,” he said. “De­fen­sively, I take my hat off to our kids. We played hard and when we missed tack­les we were swarm­ing to the foot­ball and that’s what kept us in this thing.

“When we did things right, we looked okay. I thought Malachi ran hard for me and de­fen­sively, what can I say. If we didn’t miss a few tack­les, some of those big plays wouldn’t have been there. You have to take your hat off to (Justin) Wray. He showed big time tonight.”

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