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Posted: September 22, 2011 6:57 p.m.

Decimated Eagles limp into Spalding

Eastside survived last week's game against Jackson thanks to a last-second field goal. And while the Eagles may have won that battle, their losing the war of attrition.

The Eagles travel to Spalding tonight and look to go 3-0 in Region 4-AAA play. But it will be without several key players. Wide receivers Dante Blackmon, Quan Moton and Matt Hitchcock each sat out practices this week as did two of Eastside's three running backs — Jamondi Smith and Nick Broadwater and all five may miss the game.

The defense for the most part survived but Blake Rouse has a tender ankle and could be hampered. Fortunately for Eastside, Sheldon Rankins and Shaquille Huff, who dominated the Red Devils front line Friday, are good to go as is fellow defensive lineman Antonius Sims.

Spalding is 0-2 in region play and at the bottom of the region in scoring and points against. Based on the strength of Eastside's defense and the fact that starting running back Chavis Griggs and quarterback Cameron Boyd are in, the Eagles should have enough in the tank to at least sneak by.

The bigger concern is the offense itself, even at full strength. They were unable to finish off drive or take advantage of field position against Jackson and have yet to find any consistency. Expect a heavy dose of Griggs tonight both running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield.

The other concern is the kicking game. While Colton Smith did make the game-winner with two seconds left in a tie game, he finished 1-for-5 in field goal attempts. Two of those were from 45 yards and out though.

The bigger picture shows Sandy Creek on the horizon. Without many of its weapons tonight, Eastside will showcase scaled down offense. It comes down to survival then getting healthy for the two-time defending state champs next week.

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