The Eastside Eagles lost their region opener and took their second loss of the season against Chestatee Friday night, falling 33-23 at Sharp Stadium.
Eastside struggled to slow down Chestatee’s running attack. Chestatee ran the ball very effectively, gaining chunks of yards on each of its carries.
“We made too many mistakes,” Eastside coach Rick Hurst said. “We (have) to fix between the ears right now; it’s not the physical part.”
Eastside (2-2, 0-1) came out of the gates strong, scoring the first points of the game on its second drive. Eastside moved methodically on the drive, as Jomandi Smith, Carlos Huggins, Andrew Henderson and Anthony Henderson all had carries on the possession that totaled 34 yards.
Eastside quarterback Demario Terrell completed passes to Quintrell Mathis and Evan House for 21 yards on the drive, with Smith capping off the scoring run with a 5-yard run for a touchdown at the end of the first quarter.
Eastside converted the two-point conversion, taking an 8-0 lead.
Chestatee responded quickly to the Eagles’ score.
Chestatee running back Zachary Cheshire had a huge drive opening up the second quarter. Cheshire had two big runs on the series, one for 16 yards and another for 27 yards. He finished the drive with a 4-yard run for a touchdown.
Eastside’s Jaquan Henderson took the ensuing kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown after Cheshire’s score, giving Eastside a 16-6 lead.
Chestatee scored once more before halftime on a 35-yard run to the house by Cheshire.
The War Eagles’ late first-half score cut Eastside’s lead to 16-12 at halftime.
After halftime, it was all Chestatee on the scoreboard.
On the War Eagles’ second drive of the half, Chestatee faced a short field and took advantage. Cheshire ran the ball effectively on the drive, getting the team down to the red zone. Quarterback Wyatt Burgess took a 5-yard keeper into the end zone for a touchdown, giving Chestatee its first lead of the game.
Eastside had a chance to gain the lead back after stopping Chestatee on a third down, but running back Tray Bryant ran a fake punt for a 78-yard touchdown that iced the game in the fourth quarter.
Blake Buffington scored another touchdown to put the icing on the cake for Chestatee.
Eastside receiver Evan House scored a touchdown in the final seconds of the game for the 33-23 final.
“We've got to get better,” Hurst said. “We’re going to do that. We are going to have it right eventually.”
Eastside returns to action next week against Madison County.