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STOVALL: Game balls galore go to standout students and student-athletes
Friday Football Rewind
Eastside junior tailback Taylor Carter had 144 of the Eagles' 364 rushing yards against Alcovy last Friday. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News
Dee Fanning
Alcovy senior Dee Fanning has proven himself valuable as a pass catcher on offense and pass rusher on defense. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — It’s just about time for us to do what area high school football coaches started doing Saturday morning — turn the page on last week’s action and start taking a peak at the new slate of games. 

But before we do that, it would be wrong if we didn’t pass out a few game balls to last week’s top performers as we get ready to start looking toward Friday. 

Let’s dive into our Friday Football Rewind (*Note, in the future, this will appear on our website each Tuesday, going forward). 

Nuru Tinch got back to his old self last Friday with a 210-yard rushing performance that helped Newton defeat Heritage-Conyers 48-17. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

First of all, a big, fat collective game ball to the Eastside running game against Alcovy last Friday. In that narrow 16-6 win, we made much of the fact that Alcovy could’ve been in a better position to win that game if it didn’t drop a pair of possible touchdown passes. 

We remarked the toughness of both teams and the intensity of the game. But even through all that, the Eagles rolled up 364 rushing yards and average eight yards per carry. The stars were junior, Taylor Carter who rushed for 144 yards on 11 carries and a score, while averaging 13.1 yards per pop, and senior Tyon Davis who galloped for 97 yards on 13 carries, average 7.5 yards per tote. 

Even quarterback  Brayden Harper got in on the action, carrying it 10 times for 56 yards and touchdown. With that kind of rushing output, an equally compelling argument could be made that with a few breaks and calls the other way, the Eagles could’ve won this game by more. Either way, both teams were stout, and Alcovy continues to look like it’s closing the talent gap. 

Alcovy’s got d-line juice as well

With all the talk about some of the more well-known guys on the defensive line from places like Eastside and Newton, we can’t overlook Alcovy’s Jalen Banks and Dee Fanning. As bookend rush ends, they’ve combined for four sacks and eight tackles for losses. They’re a bit undersized in comparison to guys like Darnell Jefferies, Lamarius Benson or Spurgeon Gaither but just as effective. 

While we’re talking about the Tigers’ trenchmen, we send our thoughts and prayers to Tigers offensive linemen Andruw Binion. He was injured in last week’s Eastside game and was carted off the field. But we were told he is on the road to recovery. Good looking player. Here’s hoping he’ll have a quick bounce back and be able to add to his highlight reel. 

Turning Tinch loose

Newton’s Nuru Tinch has been one of the most impressive running backs in the state in this young season. Through two games he’s rushed for 299 yards and has found the end zone twice on just 24 carries. Even more impressive, he has not yet played a full four quarters of football. 

That’s probably going to change in the next couple of weeks. After Newton travels to Peachtree Ridge (0-3) — a team that’s been outscored 143-20 in its first three contests — on Friday, it will then head to Valdosta to take on fourth-ranked Lowndes (3-0) before road games at Heritage (2-0), and South Gwinnett (1-2) and then home against No. 7 Archer (2-0) and No. 1 Grayson (3-0). 

Suffice it to say, the Rams will probably need the full complement of Tinch’s abilities, not to mention those of its other talented tailbacks, Adarius Thomas and Ryan Burton, in order to get through that stretch with optimal success. We’ve been touting Tinch as one of the top backs in Georgia. These next four or five games will likely tell us all we need to know to make that an even more definitive statement. 

Tyon Davis has shown himself to be an ample complement to Taylor Carter in the Eastside offensive backfield. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

It’s not just about the players

Monster-sized shoutout to all three high schools’ spirit squads, student sections, bands, cheerleaders and dancers. It’s easy to get so caught up in the action on the field during football season, that we neglect to acknowledge that these students and their instructors, coaches and leaders work just as hard to perfect their game as do the athletes on the field. 

With these first three weeks of the football season being loaded with high intensity rivalry games and action on consecutive nights, the work that they put in is nothing to sneeze at. 

You’re appreciated. And soon, we’ll be working on a series of stories that highlight your achievements.

A portion of Eastside High School's cheerleading squad pose before last Friday's Eastside-Alcovy football game. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News