Turnovers and penalties plagued Eastside on the road at Locust Grove as the Eagles dropped their second region game of the season in a 42-13 loss to the Wildcats.
Locust Grove won the toss and chose to defer to the second half. Eastside got the ball and almost immediately got into Wildcat territory. With six plays the Eagles were 25 yards away from the first score of the game, but Eric Stokes fumbled the handoff and the Wildcats recovered it on their own 25.
The Eagles forced a quick three-and-out, but had a three-and-out of their own and the Wildcats got the ball back at their own 40-yard line.
Locust Grove’s No. 12 ran for a 41-yard gain on a sweep to the right where the Eagles weren’t able to seal off the edge. The Wildcats got into the endzone four plays later on a QB draw from one yard out.
On the Eagles first play from scrimmage, junior quarterback Austin Holloway underthrew a ball to Josh Sims who had two men beat and it was intercepted at the Wildcats’ 20. Penalties would stall the Wildcats drive and the Eagles got the ball back looking to even the score.
Eastside picked up a quick first down and then a holding penalty pushed them back to their six-yard line. On second and long, the Eagles handed the ball off to Andrew Henderson, he was stuffed at the line of scrimmage and fumbled the ball into the air. Victor Mormann caught it and returned it for a touchdown to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Aided by a 29-yard run from Stokes and a personal foul penalty, Eastside had the ball at the Locust Grove 18-yard line. Three plays later Holloway tossed a seven-yard score to Henderson to make it a one-possession game after a failed two-point conversion.
The Wildcats responded with quickness. On their second play from scrimmage, Locust Grove ran a halfback pass and found Noah Holland wide open for a 67-yard score, extending their lead to 22-6 after Cameron Maddox ran it in for the two-point conversion.
The Eagles ensuing drive –a long drive that totaled 15 plays – Eastside came up short on fourth and goal inside the five-yard line when Holloway was hit on a pass attempt, forcing a bad throw and an incompletion for a turnover on downs.
Eastside played good defense and got the ball back with under two minutes to go – enough time to make it a one-possession game going into halftime. Three plays into the drive and Holloway was intercepted after the ball bounced off the intended receiver’s hands and into the hands of Drew Walsh who went over 50 yards for the touchdown. The score gave the Wildcats a 29-6 lead with under a minute to play.
Stokes was able to cut back to his right on the kick return and got the ball to the Locust Grove 48-yard line. The Eagles went back to their passing game but Holloway was intercepted for the third time on the night after yet another pass deflected off the receiver’s hands.
Locust Grove carried their 29-6 lead into halftime.
Locust Grove and Eastside traded touchdowns to begin the third quarter with Eastside trailing 36-13 with 5:09 left in the third quarter after Holloway and Henderson’s second touchdown connection on the night.
Eastside couldn’t get anything going on offense after the score and turned the ball over on downs twice after the touchdown in the third quarter.