After picking up its first loss of the season, Eastside football is ready to begin Region 8-AAAA play today when it travels to Chestatee.
The War Eagles (1-1) are coming into the game after picking up their first win of the season, 42-21 over West Hall, and will be hosting a team still trying to overcome injuries.
Among the four Eastside starters currently banged up is starting defensive tackle Antonious Sims. With Sims being out in the Eagles' 24-10 loss to Alcovy, Eastside managed just one turnover, compared to the nine it had in the previous two games.
Filling in for Sims was sophomore Arthur Holmes, who will be called on again today and for the next couple of games when Sims is expected to be out.
"He has played very well," Eastside coach Rick Hurst said. "He did some good things and he's got to play well."
Eastside will need its defense to return to its form from the first two weeks (allowing just 14 total points) as Chestatee is scoring 31 points a game. But not only will the defense need to return to the turnover-inducing form of weeks one and two, but the offense will also need to utilize those opportunities.
Against Alcovy, Eastside managed an interception but couldn't capitalize on it.
The Eagles' offense is in its fourth week using a no-huddle attack and has improved each week, but is still looking to reach its stride.
"Every game you see a burst of brilliance, and then you see a couple of series where it doesn't look good," Hurst said.
In its third week, the Eastside offense also turned the ball over more than in its previous weeks and will work on cutting down that facet of the game.
"We have to continue to eliminate mistakes on the offensive end and give us more chances to score," Hurst said.
The Eagles have shaken off the loss from last week, and went right to work starting Monday preparing for region play, where the top four teams from each region will reach the state tournament.
"It's a region game; it's a little bit more intense," Hurst said. "These seniors have been here for three years and have been in the playoffs two out of the three that they've been here. They know the importance that region play means."