East­side headed to the playoffs?

The Covington News - - Sports -

What a football week­end!

The weather fi­nally started to turn cooler, the hu­mid­ity went back to Florida where it be­longs, the Fal­cons picked up a big win, Ge­or­gia showed off the SEC’s might and East­side had the best game of area high school team’s so far this sea­son.

Sure, it’s been just two games, but those two games have told us a lot about the Ea­gles, now ranked No. 10 in Class AAA ac­cord­ing to the At­lanta Jour­nal Con­sti­tu­tion.

First, they are re­silient, scor­ing 20 straight, in­clud­ing 14 in the fourth quar­ter to beat Jack­son 23-14.

Sec­ond, their de­fense can make ad­just­ments, stop teams and force turnovers when needed.

And third, they’re the best of the three-area teams.

We’ll find out of­fi­cially when the Ea­gles and Al­covy Tigers square off at Sharp Sta­dium. But up to this point, it looks like the leader of the pack is East­side.

Not only is East­side the only un­beaten lo­cal team, but they have also showed im­prove­ment in the first two games, which is the most cru­cial time in a sea­son to do so.

East­side’s of­fense showed the abil­ity to shake off such things as nine-straight in­com­plete passes, as quar­ter­back Da­mario Ter­rell threw two straight touch­down passes, in­clud­ing a goa­head 36-yard score to Chase Chancey.

The Ea­gles still had some penalty is­sues, but showed their spe­cial teams could put up big plays when it needs too. The re­turn teams were solid in Fri­day’s win over Jack­son, and kicker Colton Smith proved he can kick a long ways, mak­ing a 45yard field goal.

Not only has their re­cent wins showed us the Ea­gles will have a solid 2012 sea­son, but also their past.

The last time East­side started the sea­son 2-0, they went on to win the next three games as well, and go on to have one of its best sea­sons. The 2008 Ea­gles beat Har­ris County, Al­covy, New­ton, El­bert County and Stephens County in their first five games, be­fore go­ing on to fin­ish 11-2 and reach the third round of the Class AAA playoffs.

East­side came up short, but it was beaten by un­de­feated, and even­tual state cham­pi­ons, Cairo 23-6 in the 2008 state playoffs.

If the past shows Al­covy could be headed down a good path, and the present shows they can win, the fu­ture also shows that good things could be com­ing East­side’s way in 2012.

A look at the Ea­gles’ next five games shows things may be lin­ing up nicely.

East­side’s next five op­po­nents are a com­bined 1-9 in their first two games, with only Ch­es­ta­tee, the Ea­gles first Re­gion 8-AAAA op­po­nent hav­ing won a game, beat­ing West Hall 42-21 on Fri­day.

Al­covy has lost both its games, along with Madi­son County, Lump­kin and Wal­nut Grove.

Those games all come up be­fore the Ea­gles big­gest test of the sea­son at Stephens, ranked No. 5 ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press, on Nov. 2.

By then, that matchup could be for the Re­gion 8-AAAA ti­tle or be a play­off tune-up for the Ea­gles.

Ei­ther way, if East­side con­tin­ues to im­prove, the 2012 football sea­son could be ex­tended in New­ton County as East­side looks poised to bring play­off football back to Sharp Sta­dium.

Alex Grady’s third race, yielded his first non­win­ning time of the 2012 cross coun­try sea­son.

The New­ton run­ner fin­ished sixth in a time of 16 min­utes, 27 sec­onds at the Berry Col­lege Clara Bowl In­vi­ta­tional on Satur­day.

The in­vi­ta­tion-only event drew run­ners from around the metro At­lanta area with the fastest time go­ing to St. Pius X’s Austin Sprague in 15:53.

Ben Pleak of Ma­ri­etta High fin­ished sec­ond in 15:59, Brad Holt of McIntosh fin­ished third of 16:24, Ves­tavia Hills’ Mac Ma­coy was fourth in 16:24 and Matt Tip­pins of Mill Creek was fifth in 16:24.

A to­tal of 341 run­ners were in the event at Berry Col­lege.

New­ton’s meet at Rock­dale High School to­day was can­celed, and the Rams will com­pete next at North Oconee on Thurs­day.

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