COVINGTON — Fans of the Eastside Eagles and Newton Rams football teams, get your game faces ready.
The two teams, which likely make up the biggest rivalry in Newton County, will face off again at 7:30 tonight at Homer Sharp Stadium.
Eastside vs. Newton
• When: 7:30 p.m. today (Fox5 will set up at 3 p.m. and begin filming about 5 p.m.)
• Where: Homer Sharp Stadium, Covington
• Cost: $8/general admission
Last week, the Eagles beat the Alcovy Tigers 16-6, and the Rams beat Shiloh 24-6. Against each other, the Eagles and Rams are tied at 4-4.
And this week, the entire metro Atlanta area will see who pulls ahead.
Fox 5 News will visit the stadium today. After a grueling week of online voting for the Fox 5 Game of the Week, fans kept the game in the lead against four other teams.
"I think it is great exposure for both Eastside and Newton, not to mention Newton County as a whole," said Rick Hurst, head coach of the Eastside Eagles, the home team for tonight's game. "It will add to an already electric atmosphere that is always present when these two county rivals meet up. We look forward to a great crowd and game."
When voting on www.high5sports.com ended at noon Thursday, 50,438 votes had been cast — with 22,624 votes, or 44 percent, supporting tonight's game in Newton County. The Lassiter vs. Sprayberry game came in second place with 19,707 votes, or 39 percent, with other teams earning less than 10 percent of the votes each.
"We are thoroughly impressed with the community support and how the Newton County community rallied behind us and continued to vote for Newton vs. Eastside, even after the Cobb schools made a great jump in the polls," said Cortez Allen, head football coach for the Rams. "We want to thank the parents, the students and the entire school system for their support and pride that they have shown over this past week."
Fox 5 is expected to set up about 3 p.m. today, and filming should start after 5 p.m. Coaches, school staff and others will be interviewed during pregame warmups. Fox 5 News airs at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. today.
"To see the community rally behind you definitely gives the players some added confidence," Allen said. "Our guys enjoy playing in the games that have great crowds and high energy. They thrive in that atmosphere, and it has given the game an even greater significance."
Last year, Newton defeated Eastside 32-17.
"Make sure you go out to the stadium and support our teams," said Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of Public Relations at the Newton County School System. "The local community has truly rallied for our schools this year. Through their support two of our schools, Rocky Plains Elementary and Alcovy High School, each won $2,000 from Big Lots. Now because of their efforts, the Eastside vs. Newton game will be the Game of the Week on Fox 5 Atlanta. We asked for their help, and they came through for us again. Not every school system enjoys the community support that we receive, and we definitely don't take that for granted — it's greatly appreciated."
Tickets to tonight's game are $8.