MATCHUP

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

GABRIEL AND EAST­SIDE

1. The Ea­gles’ run­ning game could dev­as­tate Re­gion 4-AAAA. I hope no­body took that shel­lack­ing to New­ton se­ri­ously last week in terms of how you eval­u­ate East­side’s foot­ball team. Again, New­ton is a Class AAAAAAA school that is “that good.” But East­side’s tal­ent is more than am­ple for Class AAAA ball, par­tic­u­larly its run­ning game. Tay­lor Carter and Tyon Davis are the real deal. The duo took turns slash­ing through Al­covy’s front seven mak­ing piv­otal play af­ter piv­otal play to keep drives alive. It’s go­ing to be tough for any Class AAAA to slow them down.

2. Bray­den Harper is a war­rior. Whether at re­ceiver or quar­ter­back — I even heard that coach Troy Hoff ex­per­i­mented with him at kicker — the kid can play. He’s hard nosed. He doesn’t go down eas­ily. He’s just a flat out com­peti­tor who’s do­ing what­ever it takes to keep this some­what in­ex­pe­ri­enced East­side team com­pet­ing. Hope­fully he can avoid the in­jury bug for re­gion play. He’s go­ing to be fun to watch.

3. I was wrong about the county’s strong­est leg. I think it was last week when, af­ter Al­covy’s Jose Ramos booted a 40-yard field goal with enough leg for about five or six more yards, I said that he, with­out ques­tion, was the top kicker in the county. Then East­side’s Kade Mote blasted a 50-yarder Fri­day night against Al­covy. Hey, I can ad­mit that I’m wrong. But it’s cool that the county has at least two kick­ers with huge legs. Maybe we can get Ramos and Mote to­gether for a kick­ing con­test be­fore the year is done.

4. You can’t sleep on Spur­geon. Spur­geon Gaither, that is. The se­nior de­fen­sive tackle doesn’t get the hype or head­lines that La­mar­ius Ben­son (de­servedly) gets. But Gaither can be just as dis­rup­tive to an op­po­nent’s of­fen­sive back­field. Hoff said he had to twist his arm to get a highlight video done. Once coaches see it, though, Spur­geon (and his par­ents) will no doubt be glad that he did it.

5. We still don’t know the ceil­ing of this foot­ball team. Each week I see a lit­tle some­thing dif­fer­ent from this bunch that I didn’t see the week be­fore — yes, even last week against New­ton. In pre­sea­son, Hoff ac­knowl­edged his team’s “green­ness,” due to the de­par­ture of 25 se­niors in 2016. But he also said that the goal was to get this young squad ready to com­pete by re­gion time. I still think East­side is one of the bet­ter teams in Class AAAA and I still think they can and will make a play­off push this sea­son. I be­lieve the best for this bunch is yet ahead.

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