COVINGTON - It's pretty well known in Region 8-AAAA that Eastside quarterback Justin Wray is one of the best offensive players in the area, but the Eagles have a few other weapons.
On Saturday night, the Rockdale Bulldogs found that out as Johnny Norrington had a break-out game as the Eastside Eagles beat Rockdale 42-6 at Homer Sharp Stadium.
Norrington, who started in place of Larenzo Echols, rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns while catching two passes for 99 yards and one touchdown in Eastside's final home game of the season.
"He's been waiting all year to bust out and I thought he would tonight with No. 21 (Echols) out, we're very proud of what he did," Eastside coach Rick Hurst said.
While Eastside (7-2 overall, 3-2 Region 8-AAAA South) put together more than 400 total yards (244 rushing, 187 passing), the Eagles had two interceptions and lost two of two fumbles. Rockdale also was plagued with turnovers, losing four of four fumbles to go along with one interception.
Eastside struggled on its first possession as Wray fumbled on the fifth play of the drive. Rockdale's Grady Jarrett recovered at the Bulldog 45 but Rockdale (1-8, 1-4) turned the ball over on downs eight plays later.
Eastside got on the board late in the first quarter as Broderick Alexander scored on a 7-yard run at the 1:38 mark. Alexander finished the game with 51 yards on eight carries.
It only took Eastside one play to score on its next drive as Norrington ran 59 yards to put the Eagles up by two touchdowns at the 11:24 mark of the second quarter.
After a three-and-out by Rockdale, Eastside again scored on one play. This time, Wray hooked up with Norrington for an 85-yard touchdown pass with 9:18 remaining in the half. Wray went 8 of 15 for 162 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Eastside came up empty on an opportunity later in the second quarter. The Eagles had a second and goal at the 3 but Rockdale's Rashaud Ferrell intercepted a Jake Casteel pass in the end zone.
"We got a little bit anxious with Jake in there but that's what we wanted to do (to get Casteel some playing time)," Hurst said. "I can't complain about the outcome."
Two plays after Ferrell's interception, Rockdale gave the ball back to Eastside as Jamario Parks picked off an Isaiah Gresham pass at the Rockdale 37.
With six seconds remaining in the half, Ferrell came up with his second interception as he picked off a Wray pass at the Rockdale 29.
On the sixth play of the opening drive of the second half, Rockdale faced a fourth-and-2 at its own 33 but decided to go for it. Gresham ran the ball but fumbled with Eastside's Kevin Agudo pouncing on the loose ball.
Four plays later, Norrington scored on a 20-yard run with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter.
"It feels great," Norrington said. "It felt good to do this on senior night. It's the best game I ever had. I have to give credit to our senior linemen, Kyle Durand, Brandon Durepo and Jordan Ritchey."
Rockdale put together a solid drive on its next possession and got to the Eastside 13 but again the Bulldogs couldn't hold onto the ball as Eastside recovered a fumble at its own 35.
Seven plays later, the Eagles took a 35-0 lead when Wray completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Hill with 1:31 remaining in the quarter.
A few seconds later, Eastside struck again as recovered a Rockdale fumble in the end zone at the 1:06 mark of the third quarter. Yanrick Tinker's sixth extra point of the day gave the Eagles a 42-0 lead.
"I'm proud of the seniors, I'm proud they got to go out on a winning not and to do it in convincing fashion," Hurst said.
Rockdale botched the kickoff return and Parks recovered for Eastside at the Rockdale 2.
Eastside couldn't capitalize as Bridecous Aiken fumbled and Ferrell recovered for Rockdale at the 1-yard line.
Rockdale finally got on the board when Javon Lucas ran 54 yards for a touchdown with 6:52 remaining in the game. Lucas led all rushers with 170 yards on 13 carries.
While Eastside did give up some big plays, Hurst said he was proud of the way the defense played, to just give up one touchdown.
"It was another good game for our defense, I thought they gave a great effort," Hurst said. "We gave up a couple of things but it overall a good game."
Anthony Rhoads can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: Box score
EASTSIDE 42, ROCKDALE 6
Eastside: Broderick Alexander 7 run (Yanrick Tinker kick) 1:38
Eastside: Johnny Norrington 59 run (Tinker kick) 11:24
Eastside: Norrington 85 pass from Justin Wray (Tinker kick) 9:18
Eastside: Norrington 20 run (Tinker kick) 7:02
Eastside: Rashad Hill 30 pass from Wray (Tinker kick) 1:31
Eastside: Hunter Park fumble recovery (Tinker kick) 1:06
Rockdale: Javon Lucas 54 run (pass failed) 6:52