After a quick three-and-out by the defense, Eastside's offense took over to the tune of two plays and seven points and went on to dominate Lumpkin County 52-16 Friday night.
Demario Terrell hit Alex Smith on a screen pass for almost 50 yards on the Eagles first play from scrimmage, before handing off to Smith for a taste of things to come.
The Eagles held Lumpkin County to a three-and-out on its second drive, and once again responded with a score.
Eastside (5-2, 3-1 Region 8-AAAA) led 17-0 before the end of the first quarter, relegating the Indians (2-5, 2-2) to a pass-heavy offense. When that happened, Eastside's defense, especially its strong defensive ends took over, snapping Lumpkin County's two-game win streak.
The 52 points were the most by Eastside since scoring 58 against Eagles Landing on Oct. 29, 2010, and the second most points given up by Lumpkin County this season.
"Any time you get a team that's struggling a little bit and start putting it on them, they start looking around," Eastside coach Rick Hurst said. "By that time, it's out of hand."
"I thought our kids played real well and did exactly what they're supposed to do against a team that's struggling."
Hurst said Smith had "a monster game," and Terrell threw touchdowns to Napoleon Johnson and Lamar Johnson.
While Lumpkin County has lost four of its six previous games, the Indians managed 34 points against Madison County the last time out, showing their ability to move the ball. However, against Eastside, that didn't happen with a late touchdown and a safety induced by the Eagles themselves.
Rather than punting from deep in their own territory and turning things over to a defense which hadn't seen the field in a while.
"We didn't want to punt, have our kids out there cold and get somebody hurt," Hurst said.
Other than two late touchdowns and a punt, Eastside held off the Eagles in the second half, showing an improvement from a week earlier in a 20-14 win over Lanier. Eastside went up 20-0 in the first half before allowing the Longhorns to make a game of it with 14 straight points.
"The one thing I wanted to see when we were up 31-7 at half - and I told them at halftime that ‘We were up 20-0 last week, and you relaxed and let them in the ballgame.' I don't want that to happen tonight," Hurst said. "That was key. That's what I wanted to see."
After falling to Chestatee 57-56 in double overtime to open region play, Eastside has won three straight 8-AAAA games. The Eagles are currently in third place in the region behind unbeaten Chestatee and Monroe Area and a game ahead of Stephens County and Lumpkin County, heading into Friday's matchup against Walnut Grove.
Following that, Eastside plays Stephens County but will have already set itself up for a playoff spot with a win.
"I don't want them looking ahead to Stephens County," Hurst said of Friday's game. "But if they do win, we are definitely playing week 11."