Eagles looking for improved running game against Red Devils

COVINGTON — Even though Jackson lost a lot of their main defensive players from last year’s playoff team, Eastside’s offensive line still have their work cut for them if they hope to leave Red Devil Hill with a win on Friday.

“They have a couple big guys come back,” Eastside head coach Rick Hurst said. “They’re active and they move around pretty well. We’re going to have to do a good job of taking care of them up front so we can be successful moving the football.”

The Eagles (1-0) did a good job moving the ball up and down the field against Newton last week gaining 344 total yards of offense. However, they had a hard time rushing the ball gaining only 120 yards on 35 carries. Despite they’re lack of a steady running game, Hurst is not concerned.

“I’ve said all along since I’ve been here that whatever they (defense) will give us we’ll take. They were giving us some things down field we knew we had a chance to take,” Hurst said. “Our offensive line is playing a lot of snaps on both sides. Hopefully we’ll have Arthur Holmes back at defensive end which will help. We have some kids banged up but you go out there with what you’ve got. Our kids are working hard trying to get in shape.”

One thing that Eastside does have is an ample amount of ball carriers with four quality running backs. Running the ball for the Eagles are Anthony Henderson, Jomandi Smith, Carlos Huggins and Andrew Henderson. Before they can start punching the ball into the secondary the front line has to do their job.

“We’ve got options back there, we just have to keep them fresh,” Hurst said. “It all starts on the front. Those guys have got to be on it, get a head on a hat and get us a crease. If they do that, we should have a chance to run”

Just like they did against Newton, for the Eagles to be successful against the Red Devils (0-1) they need to score early and score quickly.

“It’s a tough place to play and they’re a loud crowd. If we can get on them in a hurry they tend to get on their own instead of getting on the visitors. So hopefully we can do that,” Hurst said. “We have to be careful with an emotional let down because last week was a big emotional win for us.”