COVINGTON -- Eastside quarterback Cameron Boyd had a turnaround game against Locust Grove last week throwing for 205 yards while completing 77 percent of his passes. The Eagles are hoping to get another performance out of Boyd and the rest of the team if it wants to remain unbeaten in Region 4-AAA when it face Jackson today at 7:30 p.m. at Homer Sharp Stadium.
Even though Jackson (1-2, 1-0) is not considered an elite team in Region 4-AAA, the Eagles (2-1, 1-0) can not afford to take them lightly.
"Anybody that we play from our region is capable of beating us," Eastside head coach Rick Hurst said.
However, history is on the Eagles' side, having beat them in their two previous meetings in Jackson. The first time was a 14-0 shutout in the 2009 Class AAA quarterfinals. Last year as a region opponent, the Eagles again came out on top with a 28-6 win.
For Eastside to make it three in a row, quarterback Cameron Boyd is going to have to have another game like he did last week against Locust Grove to start region play.
After a slow start to the season, Boyd seems to have gotten on track passing for 205 yards while going 17-of-22 with two touchdowns. That was a lot different than his first two games where he was 17-for-28 for 198 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
"He had a great game but of course he had a lot of time," Hurst said. "The offensive line gave him a lot of time, receivers caught the ball well but he put it where it needed to be."
Eastside's running game is also going to have to keep up their stellar play in order to keep the pressure off Boyd. Leading the Eagles running game are Chavis Griggs and Jamondi Smith. Both runners were over the 90-yard mark with Smith pacing the running game with 98 yards and two touchdowns against Locust Grove. However, Griggs is Eastside's leading rusher with 226 yards on 44 touches.
For Eastside go get the win and stay unbeaten in Region 4-AAA, they are going to have to do both things well.
"Their front four is something that we worry about and how well we block them. Their secondary and linebackers are good players," Hurst said. "We have to make sure we get a hat on them when we're trying to run the football. We have to do like we did last week and do a good job of mixing it up. Hopefully, we'll be able to keep them on their heals."
When the Red Devils have the ball, Eastside's defense is going to have to find a way to curb their running attack forcing them to throw the ball.
One of their main weapons in the backfield is sophomore running back DeEric Bell. Not only has he had decent runs against Monticello and Henry County, he also rushed for close to 100 yards against Eastside last season.
"We have to make sure that we're in position and we tackle well. That's going to be the key defensively," Hurst said.
"They mix it up well. They have a receiver or two that can stretch the field. It's the same quarterback from last year, Ben Cawthon, that we had pretty good success against. If our front four do their job we'll be fine. We want to make them throw. That's obviously not what they want to do. They would rather run the football and let that sophomore touch it 30 times."