Eastside football (6-2, 4-2 Region 4-AAAA) went to Hampton (0-8, 0-6 Region 4-AAAA) and took care of business, as they returned home with a 27-7 W, as they prepare to face Walnut Grove in the regular season finale on Friday.
Eric Stokes took a long run in to give Eastside a 7-0 lead early, but Hampton returned the kick back to the Eastside four-yard line and was able to score to tie the game. Hampton wouldn’t score for the rest of the game. The Eagles settled for a field goal heading into halftime with a 17-7 lead. The third quarter saw Eastside’s defense stall a long Hampton drive forcing a turnover on downs. The Eagles would score early in the fourth quarter and kicked another field goal as they won the game 27-7.
Troy Hoff, Eagle head coach, on the Eagles’ defense: “Defensively we played really well. Kind of like last week we did a good job of taking away the back, we didn’t let him run all over us and did a good job of getting after the quarterback and the pitch man.”
The Covington News: I know you guys had a big loss on defense with (defensive end) Brady Dial tearing his ACL so coach talk about how you felt your team played tonight on that defensive line.
Hoff: Yeah we talked about that. We talked about as a team that the nature of this game is the next-man-up game. It’s unfortunate for Brady. I’ve been there and we’ve got coaches and other players on the roster that have been in that spot and it’s tough. He’s playing some really good football, and any of the kids will tell you no one works harder than Brady. He’s a weight room warrior, he’s one of those guys. It’s disappointing for him because of how hard he’s worked and how he was really playing well. We said the best way to do that is to go out and do your job and play to that level. Play with that kind of effort and intensity every snap and the guys that rotated in with a few of our defensive fronts on the d-line did a really good job with that so that was a positive.
CN: What area of the team really stood tonight to you coach?
Hoff: All three phases had a real hand in it tonight. The defense was stepping it up and really holding them to seven. And really they scored on a four-yard drive. Other than that they really didn’t (threaten to score) the rest of the night. Offensively we put some yards up, but left some points out there. Couple plays here and there, a couple penalties hurt us and we had a turnover, but other than that we moved the ball and I thought we did a good job up front giving our guys some running lanes. Special teams, outside of the opening kickoff, played really, really well. We kicked two field goals tonight. Freshman kicker, it was good to get him a couple looks and him knock ‘em through. A positive was another team win and all three phases playing well together.
CN: You guys have got Walnut Grove next week and that’s a big game for you guys obviously. Talk about preparing for that coming off a big win.
Hoff: It’s another sub-region game right down the road. We’ve had some good games with them in the past, a competitive game. It’s the next one on the list. It’s what we want to keep getting to. We keep talking about game 10 and we’re controlling where we’re going so we gotta get that one first. We’re talking about taking care of us and executing and going into the playoffs, which is game 10 for us, and playing at a high level of what we’re capable of. The kids see that. There’s little things that we need to clean up and I know we haven’t hit our peak yet. There’s flashes of it, but we keep talking about putting it together for a full 48 minutes and seeing what happens.
CN: Is there anything else you’d like to add about the game or the rest of the season?
Hoff: I’m proud of our guys. The team we played obviously doesn’t have the wins and they’re a new program. Wins are tough to come by in our region when you’re only a second-year school, but their kids played hard and I talked to their coach about it. I said, ‘It reminds me of when we got here 10 years ago.’ We weren’t a new program, but kind of the same thing when you’re almost starting over. It was their senior night, it was their homecoming, it was their first senior class coming through the door so we knew they’d play with a lot of emotion. In every film we saw they played hard, so I’m proud of our guys for going on the road and taking care of business, being ready to play.