Un­de­feated no more; Ea­gles fall to Hart Co.

The Covington News - - Sports - By Josh Briggs

HARTWELL – East­side rolled into Hart County Fri­day night fresh off its big win over Stephens County last week and looked to re­main un­de­feated.

The Bull­dogs had other ideas as they moved the ball at will on the ground and con­trolled the game from the out­set en route to a 24-7 up­set over the Ea­gles.

“We showed classes char­ac­ter tonight and we got our tails kicked on both sides of the ball,” East­side coach Rick Hurst said.

The Ea­gles (5-1, 2-1 Re­gion 8AAA) lost the bat­tle in the trenches as the Bull­dogs (3-3, 2-1) rushed for 322 yards while the Ea­gles ran for mi­nus 18.

De­fen­sively, the Ea­gles were on their heels all night. Hart County struck first, march­ing 66 yards in 8 plays on its open­ing drive to take an early 7-0 lead. Keitius Harper broke a 31-yard run on a fourth-and-2 for the score and East­side faced an early deficit.

On its first pos­s­e­sion, East­side fum­bled the snap on a fourth down punt to give the ball right back to Hart County at the 35-yard line. The Bull­dogs couldn’t take ad­van­tage of the turnover and East­side got the ball back af­ter a missed field goal. It would be one of Hart County’s only mis­takes.

The Ea­gles had some­thing go­ing early in the sec­ond quar­ter af­ter Justin Wray hit An­drico Bai­ley for a 64yard com­ple­tion to move the ball in­side the Bull­dogs’ 20-yard line. Af­ter the drive stalled, Yan­rick Tin­ker had a 28-yard field goal at­tempt blocked and East­side came away score­less.

The Ea­gles set­tled down on de­fense in the sec­ond quar­ter but the of­fense con­tin­ued its strug­gles. The Bull­dogs held East­side’s vaunted run game in check and con­trolled field po­si­tion through­out the first half.

East­side caught a break right be­fore the end of the first half when a hold­ing penalty backed the Bull­dogs up and forced a field goal.

Hart County held the Ea­gles to 54

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