Ea­gles, Pa­tri­ots take the field

The Covington News - - SPORTS - Matt Smith/the Cov­ing­ton News MATT SMITH msmith@cov­news.com Matt Smith/the Cov­ing­ton News Matt Smith/the Cov­ing­ton News

Match­ing field goals were the only points posted at East­side Field on Wed­nes­day, but that was enough to get East­side and Her­itage coaches, play­ers and fans ex­cited about the up­com­ing football sea­son.

The Ea­gles and the Pa­tri­ots fin­ished a first half tied 3-3 in the two team’s only scrim­mage of the pre­sea­son, pit­ting the two schools var­sity pro­grams against one an­other in 24 min­utes of ac­tion.

Af­ter a first half of even play, the teams then traded a sin­gle over­time sit­u­a­tion be­fore al­low­ing the ju­nior var­sity pro­grams to take the field.

De­spite both pro­grams' strug­gles on the of­fen­sive side of the ball, East­side head coach Rick Hurst said that he saw a lot of good, es­pe­cially his team's de­fense, in the pre­sea­son matchup.

“I was pleased with some things, but we have a long way to go,” Hurst said. “I was pleased with our ef­fort and I thought the de­fense bowed its back at times and re­fused to let them in. They played hard.

“Of­fen­sively, we didn’t do very well, but we have to make sure that we’re throw­ing to our reads and that we’re do­ing a bet­ter job up front with our zone scheme,” he said. “We didn’t do a very good job with that tonight and we have to do a lit­tle bet­ter.”

Af­ter the two teams traded turnovers on downs dur­ing their first pos­ses­sions, the Ea­gles struck first, scor­ing on their sec­ond drive for the game’s first score.

East­side quar­ter­back De­mario Ter­rell con­nected with run­ning back Tanell Bo­ley for a 39-yard screen pass to put the Ea­gles in Pa­triot ter­ri­tory, po­si­tion­ing the Ea­gles in­side Her­itage's 20-yard line with a chance to score.

East­side’s of­fense sput­tered in the red zone, but a 32-yard field goal at­tempt from the Ea­gles Jake Shel­ton broke the dead­locked con­test af­ter sail­ing per­fectly through the up­rights.

Her­itage an­swered the Ea­gles score on its very next drive, mov­ing the ball 74 yards to in­side the Ea­gles 10-yard line. Her­itage quar­ter­back Ryan Sut­ton hit tight end Eric McIver with a 24-yard pass be­fore C.J Stone added a 15-yard run to get the Pa­tri­ots to the Ea­gles’ 41-yard line.

Sut­ton again con­nected with one of his re­ceivers for a 30-yard gain, hit­ting wide­out Kenny Weaver down the side­line for the big gain.

The Pa­tri­ots’ Austin Kulp knot­ted the con­test at 3-3 with a 23-yard field goal to close Her­itage’s only scor­ing drive with just over 11 min­utes left in the first half.

Both teams closed var­sity ac­tion in the open­ing scrim­mage with a sit­u­a­tion over­time pe­riod.

East­side posted a field goal in the prac­tice over­time pe­riod, while Her­itage scored a touch­down in its set.

Her­itage head coach Mike Par­ris said he was pleased with the way his pro­gram per­formed in its first live­ac­tion scrim­mage.

“I’m proud of the way they came out,” Par­ris said. “We needed to come out and play some­body else. Of­fen­sively, we need to fin­ish drives. De­fen­sively, we ex­e­cuted well. They should be ahead of the of­fense at this time of the sea­son.

"We be­lieve in our guys and we’re go­ing to make some plays," Par­ris said. "We be­lieve in them. and we know they are go­ing to do well.”

Ter­rell fin­ished the con­test 5-for13 for 58 yards, with one in­ter­cep­tion, while Sut­ton posted a 3-for-8 line for 67 yards.

Stone fin­ished the con­test with 42 yards rush­ing, while McIver reeled in two catches for 37 yards.

The scrim­mage con­cluded with a half of ju­nior var­sity ac­tion.

The Pa­tri­ots will open the sea­son on Aug. 30 against North­gate, while the Ea­gles will take on county ri­val New­ton at Sharp Sta­dium at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

Run­ning back An­drew Hen­der­son turns up field, look­ing for his block­ers on the way to the end zone.

The Ea­gles de­fense halts Her­itage run­ning back C.J. Stone on third down.

East­side's Tanell Bo­ley drives through the defender af­ter a catch for a first down. The Ea­gles and Rock­dale County ri­val Her­itage squared off for both pro­grams' first scrim­mage of the year on Aug. 21.

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