HOSCHTON, Ga. — The Eastside Eagles made themselves right at home in their 42-7 win at Jackson County on Friday night.
Coming off the bye week seemed to benefit Dallas Johnson the most.
In the first half alone, Johnson carried the ball across the goal line three times.
His first score came on Eastside’s second drive of the contest.
After Jordan Edwards ripped off a long run to set the Eagles up first and goal at the 5-yard line, Johnson did the rest.
On the very next play, Johnson bulldozed his way through, what seemed like, the entire Panthers defense to put six points on the scoreboard.
Johnson just never let up.
With 11:23 remaining in the second quarter, Johnson maneuvered his way through Jackson County’s defense to score from 25 yards out. That gave Eastside a 14-0 advantage.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Johnson found the end zone yet again.
From 10 yards out, Johnson found the right edge, jetted toward the goal line and beat of couple of Panther defenders to the end zone.
Eastside led 21-0 at halftime.
Defensively, the Eagles seemed to suffocate the Panthers’ offense all night long.
Whether it was stuffing a run for no gain or forcing an incompletion, Eastside’s defense was well acquainted with Jackson County.
The highlight-type play for the defense came in the latter part of the third quarter.
After Jackson County converted a third down around midfield, the Eagles defense responded.
Aeron Gresham stepped in front of an Isaiah Maxey pass for an interception. With no one back to tackle him, Gresham returned the ball all the way back for a Pick-6.
Eastside led 35-0 at that point and never looked back.
Kenai Grier accounted for the final Eastside score with a long touchdown run.
Jackson County avoided the shut out with a 19-yard touchdown run by Anthony Finley in the fourth quarter. But it didn’t seem to matter.
By the time the Panthers scored, Eastside was cruising to a crucial region victory. A few underclassmen received substantial playing time for the Eagles to close out the final minutes of the game.
The Eagles improve to 5-3 overall with a 3-2 region record. Next week, they’ll be back on the road at Walnut Grove for another Region 8-AAAAA matchup.