East­side sacks Jack­son

20-point 4th quar­ter lifts Ea­gles to sec­ond win

The Covington News - - Sports - MICHAEL STONE sports@cov­news.com

Trail­ing 14-3 to the Jack­son Red Devils af­ter three quar­ters, the East­side Ea­gles came off the deck to score 20 unan­swered points and re­main un­de­feated in the young 2012 sea­son.

“Over­all, a great ef­fort,” East­side coach Rick Hurst said. “The kids never gave up and never gave in.”

Both teams sput­tered on of­fense early in the game, but Jack­son fi­nally mounted a drive late in the first quar­ter. Jack­son quar­ter­back Will Lane threw a 35-yard touch­down pass to Michael Finoc­chiaro who had an in­cred­i­ble catch made more amaz­ing by the fact he was play­ing in his first ever high school game. Joe Brown kicked the ex­tra point and Jack­son led 7-0 with a hand­ful of sec­onds left in the quar­ter.

The Ea­gles an­swered with a drive of their own high­lighted by a 20-yard run by Alex Smith, but Colton Smith’s field goal at­tempt was blocked. He got an­other shot mo­ments later when Tre Cooper

in­ter­cepted a pass. Smith’s kick sailed over the cross­bar with just inches to spare, mak­ing the score 7-3 in fa­vor of Jack­son.

The East­side pass­ing at­tack fal­tered for most of the game; the Ea­gles failed to con­nect on nine con­sec­u­tive pass plays at one point. Penal­ties also slowed East­side drives and kept them alive for Jack­son.

“That’s some­thing we have to fix,” coach Hurst said. “But the penal­ties seemed to even out as the game went on.”

Jack­son fi­nally scored again with 43 sec­onds left in the third quar­ter af­ter re­cov­er­ing an East­side fum­ble at the Ea­gle 26-yard line.

Jack­son stymied the next East­side pos­ses­sion, but a rough­ing the punter penalty gave the Ea­gles new life near mid­field. Two plays later De­mario Ter­rell con­nected with Cameron Boyd for a 45-yard touch­down. Colton Smith’s kick pulled East­side to within four of the lead.

With the penalty bug now bit­ing the Red Devils, East­side took ad­van­tage of a pass in­ter­fer­ence call — which gave them a first down in Jack­son ter­ri­tory — and Ter­rell con­nected with Chase Chancey for a 36-yard touch­down pass. The Red Devils blocked the ex­tra-point, but East­side now led 16-14. An odd se­quence of events un­folded next as Jack­son fum­bled the ball away at their own 26 and head coach Mike Par­ris made mat­ters worse by in­cur­ring an un­sports­man­like con­duct penalty. The Ea­gles had the ball with a first and goal at the seven, but af­ter a sack and three penal­ties faced a fourth and what seemed like a fur­long at mid­field.

Jack­son got the ball back, but Boyd picked off a pass and took it back for a touch­down to give East­side a com­fort­able nine point lead.

“It’s a huge lift for us,” Hurst said. “We’ll be in this po­si­tion again later in the sea­son, and we’ll know we can come back.”

An­thony Banks /The Cov­ing­ton News

Ja­mal Hardge hits Jack­son’s quar­ter­back as he at­tempts a throw against East­side at Sharp Sta­dium Fri­day night.

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