EAST­SIDE

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

of the game for the Red Devils to take the early lead.

They wouldn’t score again un­til eight min­utes left in the fourth quar­ter.

The Ea­gles would take the ball right back, and in me­thod­i­cal fash­ion, march 77 yards down the field in seven plays, in­clud­ing a 36-yard pass from Harper to Jor­dan Rogers.

It was only the be­gin­ning of an Ea­gles scor­ing spree in the first half, as they hur­ried down the field again on their next pos­ses­sion, run­ning just three plays that led to a 14-7 lead late in the first.

The spe­cial teams wanted a piece of the ac­tion as well, as they blocked a Red Devil’s punt deep in their own ter­ri­tory that was scooped up by Spur­geon Gaither near the end­zone. Gaither would score on the play to ex­tend East­side’s lead.

“We take that third phase (spe­cial teams) of the game se­ri­ously,” Hoff said. “We spend a lot of time in it, and those guys ex­e­cuted, bot­tom line.”

Head­ing into the sec­ond quar­ter, se­nior run­ning back Tay­lor Carter would punch in the next two touch­downs for the Ea­gles, one be­ing off a 22-yard screen pass, while the other was a 3-yard run to in­crease his touch­down to­tal to three for the game.

Even with the ball back with 49 sec­onds left in the half, the Ea­gles would not let up. It only took two runs of 31 and 19 yards for Cullins to find the end­zone, and en­sure the sec­ond half would be one with a run­ning clock.

The de­fense, de­spite hav­ing most of the starters get­ting rest in the sec­ond half, played just as dom­i­nant as they blew up more than a few of Druid Hills’ plays for neg­a­tive yards.

“The de­fense just set­tled in,” Hoff said. “They didn’t get rat­tled de­spite the start of the game, and they just set­tled down and played foot­ball.”

The Red Devils were fi­nally able to re­spond to East­side’s 49 unan­swered points, scor­ing a touch­down with eight min­utes to go in the game, but the Ea­gles would re­spond with their fi­nal touch­down of the game with a 15-yard run by Cullins for his sec­ond touch­down of the night to seal the 52-14 vic­tory.

While run­ning the ball 27 times for 324 yards with an av­er­age of 12 yards per rush was more than enough to get past their first of a string of re­gion games to cap off the reg­u­lar sea­son, Hoff al­ways knows there is room to grow and im­prove, de­spite meet­ing an 0-5 Henry County Warhawks at Sharp Sta­dium next Fri­day.

“We busted some things,” he said. “You can’t get away with those things all the time. We were able to over­come them, but we want to start faster. I wasn’t happy with the way we started the game, and we have some things to clean up, but from there we just need to keep go­ing.”

The Ea­gles (5-1, 2-0) will host the Henry County (0-5) Fri­day Oc­to­ber 6 at Sharp Sta­dium with a 7:30 kickoff time.

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