Undefeated no more; Eagles fall to Hart Co.
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