It was business as usual for the Eastside Eagles, as Madison County came to visit Sharp Stadium. The Eagles offense went to work early and often, defeating the Red Raiders 38-10 as Eastside improved to 2-0 on the season.
The Eagles started quick, wasting no time on the first possession as quarterback Austin Holloway connected with wide receiver Josh Sims on the third play of the game for a touchdown. The Eagles were up 7-0 within the first two minutes of the game, and it foreshadowed what was to come.
On their first possession the Madison County Red Raiders moved the ball a little, but after two first downs, the offense stalled and Madison punted away. Eastside, starting from their own 20, had two first downs on the drive before Austin Holloway threw a strike to wide receiver Caleb Allen for a 40-yard touchdown with four minutes left in the first quarter. The quarterback went 3-5 on the 80-yard drive. 14-0 Eagles, and the crowd was excited for more.
On the ensuing kickoff, the red raiders started deep in their own territory down 14 points. They got a couple of first downs on big plays from the quarterback and receivers, but they stalled at the Eagles’ 28 yard line prompting a 45-yard field goal. The field goal effectively ended the first quarter with the score 14-3, Eastside.
In the second quarter, the Eagles started with the ball at their own 38 yard line after a decent kickoff return. Holloway was on fire going 4 for 4 ending the drive connecting with Josh Sims once again for an 18-yard touchdown. Josh seemed to be open all night as the Red Raiders didn’t really have an answer for the quarterback/wide receiver combo.
Madison County received the ball at the 20 after a touchback on the kickoff. They had two quick first downs before they had to punt from around their own 40. The Eagles started from their own 20 yard line.
Running back Eric Stokes busted through the middle with a few big runs helping set up first down passes on the drive. Holloway missed the read on open wide receivers twice in the drive, but it didn’t matter. He went 4 for 6 as the 80 yard drive ended with another pass. This time, it was Stokes with the short catch and run to the end zone. So with only 1:30 left before halftime, the Eagles took a commanding 28-3 lead. The Red Raiders didn’t try to respond as they ran on 3 plays to end the half.
The second half started with Madison County receiving the ball and starting at their own 25 yard line. The Red Raiders struck twice with midrange passes and gained two first downs to get in Eagles territory. After getting to the 44 yard line of the Eagles, they ran the ball to the right and fumbled at the line of scrimmage and the Eagles recovered.
The Eagles started with the ball at their own 44, and on the first play, they go to Josh Sims and he catches a bomb and outruns the defense for the 56-yard TD, making the score 35-3 with 8:43 left in the third quarter. The Red Raiders got the ball back after the score, and earned a first down through the air. With the corners in zone coverage, Eagles’ cornerback Tiaje Thomas intercepted a pass with 6:32 left in the third and the Eagles were in business again. Starting at their own 30, the Eagles didn’t get a first down and for the first time all night, Eastside punted it away. The Red Raiders didn’t take advantage once again going three-and-out, punting away with the quarter coming to an end.
Toward the end of the third quarter, the Eagles received the ball again. It was a combination of run and pass going deep into Red Raider territory inside the red zone. After a couple of good defensive plays by the Red Raiders, the Eagles, finally kicked a field goal instead of ending the drive with a touchdown. The score was 38-3 with 10:22 left in the game.
The Red Raiders showed that they weren’t giving up as they made three first downs on the next drive and ended it with a 30-yard touchdown off of a nice screen play with 5:43 left. The Eagles played conservative once they got the ball back, they went three-and-out again before the Red Raiders got the ball back getting a first down before time ran out. Final score 38-10 Eagles.
Coach Troy Hoff was proud of his guys with this early season victory, “Good win, kids played hard. They came out ready and had a good week of practice. Tuesday and Wednesday were tough days, not only the weather, but with physical tough practices. When we have a good week of practice, it turns out well.”
The Eagles have been known to be a scoring machine scoring over 30 points five times last season. When asked about the defensive performance, Hoff added, “Great, the parameters for how we judge defenses for spread offenses has gotta change. We’d love blowouts every week. But also understanding that if our offense gets a lead and having our defense kind of peel back their ears, that’s a good place to play from. The young kids on the d-line, secondary played well. The linebackers are solid, they have probably played the most football out of all of them.”
Hoff says it was a team effort on the win and shouted out a few impact players. “Josh Sims had another great game. Tiaje Thomas played great offensively and defensively flying around making plays. Offensive line wise, Ethan Galloway was solid at right tackle, you know, tonight was a team effort. A lot of guys stood out.”
The Eagles win the non-conference game 38-10 and have won two in a row. They are 2-0 at home and their next game is also at home against Griffin, Friday September 11.