The Eastside Eagles scored 17 points in the first half and hung on to defeat the Lanier Longhorns 20-14 Friday night at Homer Sharp stadium.
"We'll take it," Eastside coach Rick Hurst said. "But it was an ugly win."
Eastside got on the scoreboard first late in the first quarter when Colton Smith booted a 37-yard field goal.
The Longhorns, who managed, just 42 yards of offense in the first half, struggled against the Eagle defense for most of the game and allowed the Eagles to begin their next drive inside Lanier territory at the 42.
It took the Eagles just four plays to capitalize.
Quarterback Demario Terrell hit Alex Smith with a swing pass for 15 yards to get the drive started. Anthony Henderson ran for 11 more, and Terrell connected with Cameron Boyd open inside the five. Smith then scored the touchdown from the four.
After Colton Smith's extra point the Eagles led 10-0 with 11:41 to play in the half.
Once again the Longhorns were unable to do anything against the Eagle defense and Eastside wound up starting its next drive in Lanier territory again. This drive took a little longer: five plays.
After the Eagles moved the ball to the 35, Terrell handed the ball to Alex Smith who dodged and juked his way 35 yards for an apparent touchdown. Unfortunately a holding call nullified the touchdown.
The unflappable Terrell then simply dropped back into the pocket and threw a nearly perfect 35-yard touchdown pass to the dangerous Boyd who had beaten the defenders to the endzone. After Smith's kick, the Eagles led 17-0.
Still, the Longhorns weren't ready to go quietly.
Starting at its own 20, Lanier mounted a drive that moved the ball all the way inside the Eastside 30.
Unfortunately for the Longhorns, Eastside defensive lineman James Russell then crashed through the Lanier offensive front and chased down quarterback Taylor Grant for 13-yard loss, effectively ending the drive.
The Eastside defense continued its dominant play into the second half. Antonius Sims, almost single handed, recorded a sack and tackle for a loss on Lanier's first possession and it looked like Eastside might just cruise to an easy victory. Alex Smith continued to run roughshod over the Longhorn defense and Boyd continued find gaps in the Longhorn secondary. Before long, Colton Smith had kicked another field goal to put the Eagles up 20-0.
But when the Longhorns struck back, the did it in a hurry.
After fumbling a punt and losing 25 yards chasing down the loose ball, the Longhorns set up shop at their own 25. The Longhorns managed to move the ball to midfield, and then Grant hit Marty Sanders down the left sideline for a score. Ryan Edwards kicked the extra-point for the Longhorns and they trailed 20-7 with nearly a full quarter to play.
Isaiah picked up his second interception on the next Longhorn possession and it appeared the Eagles would put the game out of reach when the moved the ball inside the one. But Lanier held on a fourth and goal and Eastside turned the ball over on downs.
Two plays later, Sanders caught a pass at the Lanier four, broke a tackle and raced 96 yards for a second Longhorn score.
The Longhorns managed to get the ball back with a chance to take the lead with less than a minute to play but didn't have quite enough time.
"Give them credit," Hurst said, "they kept playing. They gave us all we wanted there at the end."