CONYERS - Eastside and Rockdale battled to a split Tuesday night at Reid Memorial Stadium as the Eastside girls and the Rockdale boys claimed victories.
The Lady Eagles started the show with a 2-1 win over the Lady Bulldogs in a very physical matchup. The Rockdale boys capped the twin bill with a 4-1 win in the nightcap.
Eastside 2, Rockdale 1
It was an historic win for the Eastside girls as the Lady Eagles captured the first win in school history over a Rockdale County team.
The Lady Eagles went up 1-0 with 10 minutes left in the first half when Ashton Tehrani's corner kick deflected off a Rockdale defender and into goal. Eastside's 1-0 lead held until halftime.
Both teams threatened to score in the early minutes of the second half, but to no avail.
The game remained tight until Rockdale was called for a foul in the box, giving Eastside a penalty kick.
Tehrani took the PK and buried it in the back of the net, giving Eastside a 2-0 lead with 11:30 left in the game.
However, the Lady Bulldogs found new life two minutes later when Ashley Peterson squeezed a shot past the Eastside goalkeeper.
That was as close as the Lady Bulldogs got as the Eastside defense held on for the win.
Eastside girls coach Libba Willcox said she was proud of the way her team played.
"They stepped it up today, even though we had a slow start. I thought we passed the ball very well today against Rockdale's pressure," Willcox said. "We have the goal of making it to the region playoffs, and we knew if we beat Rockdale, we'd have a chance."
The win moves the Lady Eagles to 7-4 overall and 1-1 in Region 8-AAAA South. Rockdale falls to 3-8 overall and 1-2 in the region.
Rockdale girls coach Patrick Batubenge felt his team could have done more.
"It came down to who wanted it more, and Eastside wanted it more today," Batubenge said. "Overall, it's just been unfortunate that we haven't been able to play the way we can. I know we are a much better team."
Rockdale 4, Eastside 1
Ryan Young's hat trick highlighted Rockdale's win over Eastside as the senior scored two of his three goals in the second half.
The game was knotted 1-1 at the break, but the Bulldogs (2-7-1, 1-2) tacked on three second half scores to claim the win.
Young scored the first goal of the game, putting the Bulldogs up 1-0 with 20:42 left to play.
Later in the half, Rockdale was called for a handball in the box, giving Eastside a penalty kick. The Eagles' Jesse Badetscher converted the PK, tying the game with 5:39 left until halftime.
Young put his team ahead again with 30:46 left in the game. He later added another goal with 10:29 left on the clock. Brandon Story provided the assist on the first goal, while Miseal Najera set up the score on Young's last scoring shot.
Rockdale's final goal came off a PK when Eastside was called for a foul in the box.
Story took the PK and banged it home, giving Rockdale a 4-1 advantage with 6:28 left.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.