Eagles defense up to the challenge in rival game





#24 EHS intercepts the ball and carries it in for the first touchdown


EHS #1 carries ball and this next few plays result in EHS first touchdown of the game against NHS


NHS player is #8

Eastside 32, Newton 0

Newton 0 0 0 0 — 0

Eastside 7 11 7 7 — 32


Eastside: Jomondi Smith 5 run (Colton Smith kick) 8:05


Eastside: Jamal Hardge 83 interception return (pass good) 4:55

Eastside: Colton Smith 24 field goal, :32


Eastside: Antonius Sims 13 fumble return (Colton Smith kick) 10:18


Eastside: Cameron Boyd 27 interception return (Colton SMith kick) 10:40


First downs 9 3

Rushes-yards 26-72 19-34

Passing yards 81 48

Comp-Att-Int 10-21-2 3-12-0

Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 12-74 6-48


Rushing — Newton: Toyous Avery 9-36, Darius Dean 11-24, Kemani Pitman 4-6, Joe Rockett 2-6; Eastside: Damario Terrell 3-31, Jomondi Smith 6-1, Alex Smith 5-(-19).

Passing — Newton: Pitman 10-21-81; Eastside: Terrell 3-12-48.

Receiving — Newton: David Comer 3-36, Darion Kingsley 3-27, Aaron Pierce 3-17, Dean 1-1; Eastside: Lamar Johnson 2-22, Alex Smith 1-26.

COVINGTON -- It was Eastside's defense that did most of the scoring with three touchdowns for the Eagles in their 32-0 win over Newton on Friday at Homer Sharp Stadium.

Jamal Hardge scored the first defensive touchdown, running back a Kemani Pitman interception 83 yards late in the second quarter. Even though Newton (0-1) failed to score against Eastside (1-0), Hardge's interception was a momentum changer.

"Our secondary, what can I say about them?" Eastside head coach Rick Hurst said. "I tell them all the time that somebody has to make a play. I think that kind of sealed it even though it only made it 15-0. But it really hurt them because they were driving. It changed the whole momentum."

The Eagles defense again rose to the challenge with Antonius Sims picking up a loose ball and rambling 13 yards for the score on the second play of Newton's drive.

Eastside's defense struck again with 10 minutes and 40 seconds left in the game when Cameron Boyd scored from 27 yards out on Pitman's second interception.

"I think that's the first time as a head coach that I've had two picks returned for touchdowns. Our secondary played really well. They were in the right place at the right time," Hurst said. "I'm really proud of them."

Pitman had a hard night in his first varsity start being intercepted two times while going 10-of-21 for 81 yards.

Putting added pressure on the sophomore quarterback was Newton's nonexistent running game. The Rams rushed the ball 26 times for 72 yards. Of Newton's 26 rushes, only two went for more than 10 yards. Darius Dean, who had 25 yards on 11 carries, had a 12-yard run with Toyous Avery getting 16 as part of his 36 yard total on nine touches.

"Right now we're not seeing the things we want to see from our running back position," Newton head coach Cortez Allen said. "When we can't hand the ball off and run it successfully that makes us put the ball up in the air more than we want to."

Making Newton's running game a non-factor was Eastside's defense. By shutting down the running game, they turned Newton's offense one dimensional, making it easier to defend and put pressure on the offensive line and backfield.

"I thought we had a good game plan against them, we always do. I thought the defensive line played well and the linebackers played extremely well," Hurst said. "Our two inside guys, Napoleon Johnson and Marcus Griffieth, I bet had 100 tackles a piece."

While the Rams had a hard time running the ball, Eastside's offense struggled as well. The Eagles offense averaged 1.7 yards per carry rushing for 34 yards on 19 carries. Pacing the Eagles was Damario Terrell rushing for 31 yards on three carries.

Eastside scored their only offensive touchdown in the first quarter. After Terrell gained 26 yards on a broken play, Jomondi Smith scored on a 5-yard run. While leading 15-0, the Eagles made it 18-0 late in the first half off a Colton Smith 24-yard field goal.

Setting up the field goal was a 26-yard pass from Terrell to Alex Smith on a third and 21 down to put the ball on the Newton 10-yard line.

"That defense played really well," Hurst said. "Offensively we just couldn't get a rhythm or a feel for it. They have a good defensive line and they were doing things to us we just couldn't block. We have to get better at that front position so we could do things offensively."