RIVERDALE - Eastside had just turned an interception into a short drive and touchdown and led by three points midway through the third quarter Saturday against Drew. Meanwhile, the host Titans were backed up to their own seven-yard line. But that’s precisely when the Clayton County school got going. Drew marched 93 yards in less than a minute to grab the lead for good in a 28-21 win over Eastside at Southern Crescent Stadium.
The go-ahead drive began when quarterback Jay Murray found his favorite target, Bradley Street, for a 40-yard completion to get the Titans out from the shadow of their own end zone. Jadarius West rumbled for 35 yards and Murray’s 14-yard sneak preceded a four-yard touchdown run by Lester Knauls to put Drew (4-2, 3-1 Region 4-AAA) up 25-21. Eastside (4-3, 3-2) seemed to pull the momentum back on its side early in the fourth when a 27-yard field goal attempt by Drew’s Shem Ogunbummi was blocked by Sheldon Rankins. The senior kicker had a second chance following a 10-play drive and this time nailed a 26-yard field goal to make it 28-21.
In between, the visiting Eagles had a pair of drives, but couldn’t get past their own 22 on one and on their final offensive possession of the game Cameron Boyd threw three consecutive incompletions from the Eastside 28.
Drew took an 18-7 halftime lead thanks to a number of big plays. West, who ran for a game-high 111 yards, made a miraculous run, breaking several tackles before exploding down the sideline for a 52-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead for the hosts. In the second quarter, Boyd’s dump off pass was intercepted by Terrell Jordan and the junior linebacker returned it 48 yards for a touchdown and a 12-7 cushion. Following an Eastside punt, Murray tossed up a jump ball, Street (6 catches, 151 yards) came down with it and took it 55 yards after the catch for a touchdown.
The Eagles cut the deficit to five points on a six-yard touchdown run by Chavis Griggs, then got the lead back briefly at 21-18 when Rankins made a great play and intercepted Murray’s pass. Blessed with excellent field position at the Drew 7, Jamondi Smith capped a quick, two-play drive with his second touchdown run from four yards.
Drew will try to extend its winning streak to three games when it travels to Eagle’s Landing Friday, while Eastside, which has lost its three games by a combined 17 points, hosts 5-1 Stockbridge.