LOCUST GROVE, Ga - The Eastside Eagles (3-2,2-0) took care of business on the road as they defeated the Luella Lions (1-4,1-1) 21-0 to remain perfect in their region.
It was the Eagles defense that impressed all game long. They started the scoring off in the game as a great pressure by Vaugn Mattox led to a fumble on the Lions 15-yard line. Linebacker Sambo Button scooped the ball and ran it back into the end zone for six, and that would be enough points for an Eagles victory.
This was Button's second touchdown of the year, and when the ball is on the ground, he always seems to have a knack for picking up loose footballs for six. Head coach Troy Hoff could only laugh when asked about Button's ability to find the loose ball and carry it into the end zone.
"He's a speedster. He's just in the right place at the right time. Those are two plays that guys can go their whole career and play and go to the NFL and play and never have that happen," said Hoff. "Guys hustling to the ball, more than one guy in on the play, pursuit, and he happens to be the guy right there to capitalize off of it."
Button also had a sack against the Lions, but overall it was a strong defensive showing for the Eagles. This strong defense helped keep the Lions at bay, while the Eagles offense tried to find its footing in the game.
"Any time the defense can shut somebody out on the road in the region, it's a good night," said Hoff. "No, it wasn't pretty. Hats off to coach Jackson they're playing hard, we knew they would come out and play hard, but we got to clean some stuff up."
The Eagles offense seemed out of sync for the majority of the night, but they did just enough to get points on the board on the Lions. Hoff knows that his team will have to execute better if they hope to continue to earn wins.
"They've got some good players up front on the D-line, and they play physical," said Hoff. "We need to do a better job of executing and not putting ourselves in those third and long situations, which they are hard for anybody and when you have that all night your third-down conversion percentage is going to be down and you're not going to be able to hold onto the football."
Hoff believes that as the night went on and as the execution picked up the Eagles offense started to find more success. It was the Eagles backfield that seemed to find that success as running back Kenai Grier and Sincere Johnson led the way.
Grier added on a touchdown with 57 seconds left before halftime to put the Eagles up 14 points heading into the break.
Grier finished with 91 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown, while Johnson finished with 42 yards on six carries. The Eagles backfield had multiple guys contributing all night long. Hoff also mentioned the excellent play of running back Dallas Johnson as yet another contributing member of the Eagles backfield.
The Eagles passing game was out of sync, but quarterback Noah Cook did connect with Grayson Malcom on a 22-yard pass for a touchdown in the late stages of the fourth quarter.
Cook finished 11-for-19 with 145 yards passing and one touchdown. The Eagles had to work the majority of the game without star receiver and cornerback Jeff Haynes who seemed to have injured his ankle on the second play of the game.The Eagles will hope to get Haynes back for their next matchup as they take on the Woodward Academy War Eagles at home in Sharp Stadium on Friday, October 11th.