Eastside seeks to avenge last season's loss

COVINGTON -- The Eastside Eagles are in a bit of a predicament : They are trying to forget their loss last week to Sandy Creek while remembering that they were upcoming opponent Drew's first-ever varsity win last year.

"I've preached about it all year. We were their first varsity win. I tried to remind them what it means to prepare after a big letdown like we had. They played their butts off but came up short. We have to respond; we can't dwell on it. We lost the game but we have to get better from it," Eastside head coach Rick Hurst said. "We have to remind them that they're talented and they beat us. We have to put ourselves in a great spot in the region and win."

Even though the Titans are a year older they have not really moved ahead all that much in their schemes. While Drew only runs a few types of plays, they run them very well. Instead of being out there like they were in their first year, this year they seem to be on the field with a purpose.

One thing that Eastside will have that it did not have over the past few weeks is help for running back Chavis Griggs with the return of Jamndi Smith.

"Jamandi is back this week and that's a huge lift for us because he's a home run hitter," Hurst said. "He's a threat every time he touches it. Chavis is a great back, don't get me wrong; he's been a great guy to lean on. But he doesn't have that breakaway speed that Jamandi does."

Defensively, the Eagles are going to have to contain Drew's quarterback who runs the option out of the shotgun like the Eagles tend to do as well.

"They have an athletic quarterback and they run their option out of the gun; they're a lot like us. They have a good runner at quarterback so we have to make sure we're sound defensively. We have to make sure we keep doing what we're doing in letting our front four dictate the game and let our linebackers run around free to make plays," Hurst said.

"Their defense is strong, kind of like us. They have a lot of athletes on defense that run around very well. We have to make sure we catch them out of position and make a play when we have the opportunity."

For the Eagles to improve their chances, according to Hurst, what needs to happen will not necessarily occur on the field of play.

"We need a big crowd, it's a big region game for us. We really need to take a bunch of people down there. At time our kids seem to play their best when its a great atmosphere," Hurst said. "We're trying to make one very much for them so we can come out on top."