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Fast start gives Eagles region title

COVINGTON - Eastside head coach Rick Hurst felt that he needed a fast start against Morgan County. That's what he got as his Eagles scored 27 points in the first quarter on their way to a 48-6 win Friday at Homer Sharp Stadium.

"I was a little bit shocked that we jumped on them that quick but we've been doing it the past few weeks," Hurst said.

Eastside showed its dominance, scoring six touchdowns in its first six possessions.

Califf Carnes started the onslaught with a 1-yard run with 8:28 left in the first period and scored again on a 22-yard run with 5:33 showing on the clock in the first period. He also threw for a touchdown with a 29-yard pass to Zac Johnston with less than two seconds left in the first 12 minutes of the game.

"They (offensive line) did a great job tonight," Hurst said. "They gave him protection he needed when he did throw."

Also getting into the act were Git Aiken and Greg Griffieth scoring 10- and 1-yard out.

Aiding in the touchdowns were Griffieth, with runs of 19 and 22 yards, and Blake Rouse who intercepted J.D. Hawkins' pass on the Morgan County 32-yard line.

"Our defense did a good job of pinning them back. And the punt return by Jerome (Ivey) put us in a pretty good spot," Hurst said.

Eastside's defense, including non-starters who played most of the second half, held Morgan County to 197 yards rushing on 47 carries and 56 yards passing on three receptions.

"I was really proud of the their effort and the way they took care of business. I'm frustrated because I'm worried about how they're going to prepare after having these last three games. But I think they're going to be fine. We have some guys that have been there from last year and know we're about to see better competition," Hurst said.

Leading 33-0, Eagles freshmen Alex Smith and Darius Dean combined to rush for 35 yards and scoring Eastside's sixth touchdown of the first half with Dean running it the final 10 yards to give Eastside a 41-0 halftime lead.

Dean also scored Eastside's final touchdown with an 86-yard run in the fourth quarter. He finished the game as the leading rusher gaining 138 yards on nine touches.

"They call Git and Greg thunder and lightning now, but I think we're going to have some more for the next three years. Those kids run hard," Hurst said. "Darius is as fast as anybody in the county. When he gets into the open field he's got a chance to go all the way."

Aiken and Griffieth gained 79 and 77 yards only playing in the first half. Aiken had five carries with Griffieth touching the ball four times.

The win not only put the Eagles just one away from a perfect Region 8-AAA season being 6-0, they also clinched the region championship for the second straight year after Franklin County fell to Hart County 16-6.

"I wish they hadn't announced it, I wish the kids didn't know. But yeah, it takes the pressure off. We just have to in there and play (next week)," Hurst said. "Like I told the kids, they (Franklin County) are a playoff team and they're going to give us fight we're going to need. I think our kids are looking forward to it."

Eastside heads to Franklin County to finish the regular season next week.