COVINGTON, Ga. — A defensive battle turned offensive shootout ended with the Eastside Eagles triumphing over the Alcovy Tigers 30-21 on Friday night at Sharp Stadium.
It was the play of senior running back Dallas Johnson that propelled the Eagles to the win.
And, though he scored four touchdowns in the contest, his most important run came with 4:11 remaining in regulation.
Facing a fourth down-and-2, Eagles head coach Jay Cawthon elected to go for it. After an Alcovy timeout, Eastside came out with its heavy package, which featured a direct snap to Johnson.
Johnson kept the ball, pushed through the pile of Alcovy defenders trying to reach the first down marker. It was so close the officials had to stop play for a measurement.
When they stretched the chains out to see if Johnson converted the fourth down, it looked as if the ball passed the marker by only an inch.
Even though the Eagles won by nine points, the difference down the stretch was a 4th and 2 conversion. Read how tonight's game came down to the wire in the final minutes: https://t.co/fFvY9Og1rA— Phillip B. Hubbard (@PBHubb23) September 11, 2021
Spectators may find it hard to believe a game that concluded with 51 combined points began with a scoreless first quarter.
Early on, neither defense wanted to give up an inch. However, as the game progressed, both offensive lines seemed to get better pushes upfront.
Johnson was the biggest benefactor of this throughout the game.
In the first half alone, he scored two of his touchdowns from 1 yard and 52 yards out courtesy of key blocks and broken tackles.
As a result of the two touchdowns and the Eagles forcing a safety, the Eagles took a 16-7 lead into the halftime break.
Coming out of the intermission, Alcovy got its ground game going, too, with Tristan Mayweather.
After burning 4:04 off the clock, Mayweather scored from 2 yards out that concluded a 10-play, 82-yard drive, cutting the score to 16-14.
But, it seemed like Eastside had a response for whatever Alcovy did.
Just two plays later, Johnson scored his third touchdown of the night. This time, he ripped off an 82-yard touchdown run that extended the Eagles’ lead to 23-14.
The Tigers kept battling, though.
In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Alcovy put together another scoring drive.
Mayweather crossed the goal line for a second time from 2 yards out to shrink the Eagles’ lead 23-21 with 8:49 remaining in the contest.
From there, the Eagles focused on possessing the ball and milking the clock. Johnson later put the game away with his fourth and final score of the night to solidify Eastside’s second win of the season to improve to 2-1 on the year.
Alcovy falls to 0-2.