Eastside Football Notches Playoff Win, Looks to Continue Postseason Run to Cap Off Historic Season

On a blazing Saturday morning just over 10 weeks ago, Eastside football beat PK Yonge 48-21 in their first game of the season. This was the first time the Rams started their season with a win in 10 years. 8 weeks ago, they surprised cross-town powerhouse Buchholz by finishing the first quarter down 7-0 in a game that looked like it could go either way (the game was canceled after the first quarter due to a rain delay). 4 weeks ago, following the 28-7 dismantling of the Santa Fe Raiders, the team found themselves in possession of a district championship, which they had not held since their 2012/2013 season. One week ago, Eastside beat Gainesville High School 36-0 in the last game of the regular season; the last time the Rams beat the Hurricanes, now-head-coach of Eastside Harold “Gator” Hoskins was under center for the Rams in his junior year of high school, way back in ‘08. 

Ending the regular season with a strong record of 7-2, Eastside’s historic season lives on following their resounding 27-14 playoff win against North Marion. The Rams had faced off against the Colts once already this season, in a close 14-6 win. Eastside looked at their best Friday night, with impactful plays coming from both sides of the ball. 

Running back Micah Hudson gave the opposition problems all game, finishing the night with two of Eastside’s three touchdowns, one of which came from an electrifying run that started at our 20-yard-line and finished in the end zone.

 Hudson’s dominance was not only a testament to his ability, but also the quality of the offensive line; Eastside quarterback Holden Johnson had this to say about his protectors’ performance: “I think the O-line really came to play this week. Being able to run the ball was an issue during our first game against North Marion, so the offensive line stepping up allowed us to open up and use all of our assets, like Micah [Hudson] and Daijon [Johnson].” 

The team also had a solid night defensively, picking up two interceptions and holding a formidable Colts offense scoreless in the first and fourth quarters. 

Eastside will face off against Bradford away next Friday in the regional semifinals game. The Rams have played the Tornadoes once this season, losing 28-0. Johnson noted that the Bradford game took place just a week and a half after the tragic passing of tackle/guard Dae Dae White, which he says “obviously caused a lot of us to be distracted at the time.” 

Heading into the rematch, the Rams will look to learn from their last matchup and find greater success offensively, as well as take advantage of the fact that Bradford’s star running back and Cincinnati commit Manny Covey broke his ankle two weeks ago, dealing a big blow to Bradford’s offense. Regardless of next week’s result, though, the team has had an outrageously impressive season that has undoubtedly filled Eastside fans everywhere with a great sense of hope and reassurance about the years to come.