WATKINSVILLE - Oconee County felt right at home last week at Warrior Field, defeating Stephens County for its first win of the season. But that momentum ended quickly Friday night in a 44-0 Warriors' loss to Eastside.
"We'd played real good football the last three weeks, but we took a step backwards tonight," Warriors coach Mitch Olson said. "Some of our guys looked at Eastside and thought we were playing the University of Georgia, so we became a little wide-eyed, and you can't beat a team like that playing tentative."
Eastside (6-2 overall, 5-0 Region 8-AAA) reached the end zone on each of its first four possessions to take a 28-0 lead into halftime. The Eagles needed eight plays to score their first touchdown of the night as quarterback Califf Carnes connected with Jerome Ivey for a 31-yard score. Carnes finished 10 of 14 for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
On fourth-and-inches from his own 40-yard line, Warriors quarterback Hutch Roper sneaked up the middle of the Eagles' defense for one yard and the conversion. A 20-yard catch by Dustin Phillips put the Warriors (1-7, 1-4) into the red zone, but Oconee County failed to get any points as Andrew Kowalski missed a 31-yard field goal.
The Warriors never got that close again as the offense struggled the rest of the night, finishing with 148 yards.
Roper was 3 of 6 for 41 yards on the drive. He finished 5 of 16 for 35 yards with two interceptions. Jamie Stephens led the Warriors in rushing with 60 yards.
"We're better than that. We have better character than that, but we got what we deserved tonight, the way we went out and played," Olson said.
Eastside running back Greg Griffith's 1-yard touchdown run with 27.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter put the Eagles ahead 14-0. After a Warriors punt, Git Aiken added a 5-yard touchdown run on the Eagles' third possession. Aiken finished with 83 yards and three touchdowns.
Carnes threw his second touchdown pass, a 7-yard completion to Matt Hitchcock, with 2:57 remaining in the first half.
The Warriors' first three possessions of the second half were all turnovers as Roper threw two interceptions and Davis Aiken fumbled. The Eagles cashed in for 16 points.
Eastside will play Morgan County next week in its final home game.