By Nathan Fry | Eastside Contributor
The Eastside Eagles are on the road this week, facing the Greer Yellow Jackets on Thursday night in a game that will shape the playoff race for everyone in Region 4A-II. The contest, which was originally scheduled for October 25th, was rescheduled due to inclimate weather, which both sides hope will not affect the game.
This is a game with large implications. Not just for Greer, who is 2-6 and winless at home this season, but for Eastside as well, who is facing down a long losing streak to the Yellow Jackets that many players and coaches are hoping to erase this season.
“Eastside hasn’t beaten Greer in many years” said Eastside head coach Andre Woolcock. “And you know, any time you have a Will Young coached team, you can expect these guys to be well coached, physical, and to play with a lot of pride.”
Eastside is coming off an impressive offensive performance against Blue Ridge last week, where the Eagles scored 63 points. “We had over 400 yards rushing last week.” said Coach Woolcock. ¨Macio Aiken, our backup running back, had a long touchdown called back, and another long run too so that hurt the statline a little bit. Max Louris is over 1000 yards on the season, so it’s nice to see him achieve that again. Hopefully we just continue to keep it moving. Our offense has really been doing well this season.”
Taking a look at the success at the offense, credit has to be given to the group keeping the QB upright, as well as opening lanes for the ballcarriers. “The offensive line is doing a great job. Our center, Alex Shirley, is leading that group well. It’s almost like a cult following he has with those guys!” joked Coach Woolcock. “Those guys are so close knit, and we know as a team that we’re nothing without those big guys up front.”
While their offense hasn’t been scoring much, Greer’s defense has been keeping them in games all year, holding opponents to 21 points per game. One notable flaw in the Yellow Jackets’ defense seems to be that they aren’t getting many turnovers on the season. This doesn’t bode well for them as they face an Eagles’ offense that rarely gives the ball away, with only 8 turnovers so far.
Switching from the offensive side of the ball to the defense’s perspective, Coach Woolcock brought up Max’s brother Jamen. “He just got his sixth interception of the season last week. Jamen has been great this season.”
The Eastside secondary has been picking off quarterbacks left and right this season, boasting twelve total interceptions across eight games so far. That large turnover total couldn’t be possible without the front seven though. “When you look at Ben Maholtz and Ryan Augustine, our two guys in the middle, they’re doing a lot for our defense as well. I can’t complain honestly. We’re in a good situation.”
They’ll need that same level of tenacity on defense against a Greer team that can hang around with the best of them. Even though the Yellow Jackets are 2-6, they stayed within a touchdown of Travelers Rest, limiting them to 21 points, while only falling 16-0 to a strong Greenville team who leads the region.
Expect all eyes to be on this matchup on Thursday night, as anything could happen between these two rivals.
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