With 2:06 remaining in the third quarter, the Eagles found themselves in a battle leading 14-3.
Then, a bad snap on a Heritage punt provided Eastside the opportunity to extend its lead and ultimately pull away late.
Grier received the handoff from E'Sean Arnold and found room to the right of the formation. When Grier saw a Patriot defender approaching, he lowered his shoulder and bulldozed his way to the end zone.
Grier simply wouldn't be denied.
Head coach Jay Cawthon had nothing but good things to say about the halfback.
“[Kenai] does things that you don’t coach, he is a special back, and we need to keep giving him the rock,” Cawthon said.
Even with a 24-point victory, the Eagles did not get off to a hot start, as both teams went scoreless for the opening quarter.
“We came out a little flat, [we were] making the same mistakes over and over again,” Cawthon said. “They know they did not play well, we just got to bounce back and have a lot more energy in two weeks. The [bye-week] has come at a good time.”
The Eastside offense flipped the script on the first play of the second quarter when they were faced with a fourth and short deep into Heritage territory.
E’sean Arnold handed the ball off to Grier who took it through the tackles for a 25-yard touchdown on fourth down.
“We were going for it no matter what, we feel very confident in that set and when you have [Grier] back there you can make things happen,” Cawthon said.
On the next Eagles drive, Arnold called his own number with a 10-yard score on the read option.
Despite only allowing three points, the Eagles defense did find themselves in trouble at times due to Heritage quarterback Tyler Young, who turned multiple broken plays into large gains for the Patriots offense.
A cornerstone on the Eagles defense was senior D’von Duplessis, who finished with three sacks on the night and caused multiple disruptions up-front for Heritage.
“Duplessis is a football player, he is one of our best all-around players,” Cawthon said. “He does everything the right way; he is one of the definite leaders on this football team.”
Eastside’s longest touchdown of the game came on their last score when sophomore Jayden Barr took the carry 45 yards to put the final touches on the Eagles victory.
Following the win, the Eagles move to 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in Region 8-AAAAA. Eastside will have next week off before going on the road for another region matchup against the Clarke Central Gladiators on Oct. 21.