Tonight, the Eastside Eagles and the Alcovy Tigers square off at Sharp Stadium with a county championship on the line for the Eagles.
Eastside, which last beat both county programs five seasons ago, is off to a hot start to the 2013 season, entering the contest 2-0 with wins over Newton and Jackson. Despite the early success, the Eagles know that a win against the Tigers would give the program an edge over the rest of Newton County.
"We haven’t beaten both schools in the same year since 2008," Eastside head coach Rick Hurst said, "It’s been one of our goals this year to bring that (county) trophy back home this year.
"It’s big for our kids," he said. "I know that they’ll play hard. (Alcovy) is going to be playing hard, too, because they still have the opportunity to do the same thing we want to do. They have a chance to win the county title as well. It’s going to be an entertaining game."
Last season the Tigers handled the Eagles 24-10, but Hurst believes that his team's performance last week has shown the program the areas that it needs to focus on to tame the Tigers.
"We have to do a better job of tackling," Hurst said. "We missed about 12 tackles in the first half of the last game.
Tackling is the key for us this week and we have to see progression in that area."
Hurst also said that his team's resiliency last week against the Red Devils will pay dividends on the field for the rest of the year.
"I was really proud of our guys," he said. "I really challenged them. It wasn’t like us to play that way, and as a team we weren’t going to stand for it. Our improvement in conditioning from the first week to the second week was outstanding, and if we mentally play the way we did in the second half of last week's game, as a coach, I'll be happy because it's showing growth."