East­side strong de­spite loss

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

It was a mis­match. East­side knew it. Grif­fin knew it. The fans knew it. But with any sport, you have to play it out just to be sure be­cause who knows what can hap­pen when the rub­ber meets the road? The an­swer: prob­a­bly what you’d ex­pect when Grif­fin topped East­side 53-7 last week.

Ea­gles’ head coach Rick Hurst said that Grif­fin is one of the best teams in the state and that he told his sopho­mores to file the game away. In a year or two, he said they can do the same thing to them.

“We looked at effort. And at 53-7 they were still play­ing hard, and that’s all I can ask,” Hurst said.

“They missed a lot of tack­les, but as far as play­ing hard and hustlin’ and do­ing the things that we wanna do to see the growth that we need to see, they did it,” Hurst said. “The missed tack­les cost us. It cost us prob­a­bly three to four touch­downs, and when you take those away now it’s a lit­tle bit more re­spectable. I think that our guys have moved past it. I’m hop­ing that we got a bunch that would like to play ‘em again in late November. We win the rest of ‘em, that’s what hap­pens.”

Af­ter sev­eral missed tack­les lead to East­side’s lop­sided de­feat, Hurst and his staff have fo­cused on de­fense in prac­tice this week in preparation for Jones­boro.

“Jones­boro is very ath­letic,” Hurst said. “We gotta do the ex­act same thing against this bunch that we did Fri­day ex­cept we gotta tackle bet­ter. We’ve worked on that all week, we’ve stressed it all week. I saw a lot of good things de­fen­sively.”

Ac­cord­ing to Hurst, af­ter ini­tial contact Grif­fin gained 370 yards. Hurst says that against Jones­boro, they will have to se­cure the game up front. Grif­fin has a stout de­fen­sive line with ends who get off the ball well and know how to use their hands.

“It’s gonna be a chal­lenge for us to be able to get past that and get into the se­condary. I think if we get the backs to get into the se­condary, then I think we can make things hap­pen,” Hurst said. “Hope­fully we’ll con­fuse them a lit­tle bit with our tempo. If we can get it go­ing where we’re mak­ing sub­sti­tu­tions and a lot of for­ma­tions at them, some­times that gives teams prob­lems that haven’t played against it.”

Jones­boro is win­less, but Hurst knows their record is de­ceiv­ing. It’s also East­side’s home­com­ing, but Hurst says that isn’t an is­sue for the play­ers.

“There’s no pres­sure on them. They just wanna go out there and play bet­ter than what they played Fri­day night,” Hurst said. “They know they didn’t play well. They know they faced a good foot­ball team, one of the top teams in the state. They know deep down that they didn’t play the way we’re ca­pa­ble of.”

Hurst said the loss against Grif­fin will make them bet­ter. It be­gins with Jones­boro.

Sha­keem Hol­loway /The Cov­ing­ton News

East­side High School foot­ball coach Rick Hurst looks on as his team prac­tices. The Ea­gles (2-1) take on Jones­boro (0-3) for their home­com­ing on Fri­day night at 7:30 p.m.

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