Nathan Fry | Eastside Contributor
The Blue Ridge Tigers hosted Eastside on Friday night, falling 63-19 in Region 4A-II action.
Once again Eastside’s high octane offense lit up the scoreboard, this time against an injury-riddled Blue Ridge squad.
The star of the night was Eastside running back Max Louris, who rushed for well over 100 yards, adding three touchdowns along the way. Blue Ridge defenders bounced off of him all night as he rumbled his way down the field, on his way to two 50+ yard carries.
“It was all the offensive line” is what Louris was attempting to say, before getting cut off by one of his coaches who yelled “The best running back in the state!”
After tonight’s game, you can certainly make the argument for the hard working senior, as he was all over the field making big plays happen. Staying humble, Louris added “They were blocking great. Payton was making people cover his side which opened it up for me too.”
The huge performance by Louris allowed QB Marshall Skoloff to connect with his big targets Payton Mangrum and Kodi Jones for four touchdowns, accounting for nearly half of the nine total touchdowns for the offense on the night.
Despite some holding calls throughout the night, the well balanced Eastside offense picked apart the Tigers’ defense all night long, and made sure that any momentum that Blue Ridge was able to gather was shut down quickly.
The Eagles are once again averaging over 50 points a game, which is massive considering the tough defenses that the Eagles are about to face. “Any time you score a lot you feel good but like I said, we have things to work on. You gotta take care of business.”
On the other side of the ball, Blue Ridge’s Rodrick Robinson impressed on the ground, while quarterback Grayson Loftis played at a high level on the night as well. Both are freshmen, filling holes due to injury, who will no doubt take over this program in the near future.
Despite their solid performances, the Tigers’ offense only scored 19 points as the Eagles picked them off twice, one of those being the sixth interception on the year for Jamen Louris. High amounts of pressure from the defensive line led to another good defensive performance for the Eagles.
Once again, special teams played a role in the kicking game, as the Eagles blocked an extra point, keeping the Tigers at 13 points in the first half. The defensive line is generating an enormous amount of pressure on these kicks and are always affecting the game.
Looking ahead for the rest of the season, Eastside faces Greer and Greenville back-to-back to end their 2019 regular season. Despite Greer’s below average season so far, Coach Woolcock said that he’s “not going to look past them.”
“Greer is still Greer. This is a team that challenged for a state title a year ago, so we better take them seriously.”
Speaking on the next two weeks, Coach Woolcock added “We’re facing two really good teams to close out the year. We gotta make sure that we take care of everything in house. Again, too many penalties, that something we have to work on.”
Tied for first place with Greenville right now, Eastside is on a potential collision course with Greenville for a de-facto Region 2 Championship Game. “I feel like we’re in the driver’s seat to take the region,” said Louris. We’re looking to get what we want; home playoff games.”
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