East got its record back to .500 on Friday night after a 23-6 victory over South, shutting out the Titans in the City League game until late in the fourth quarter.
East got off to a good start, recovering a fumble on a South kickoff return to put the Aces in good field position. Four plays later, an eight-yard run by Deonta Thomas gave the Aces their first touchdown.
A 21-yard throw by George Bousfield to Traevon McGarity with 2:28 left in the first quarter gave East their second touchdown.
With 1:38 left in the second quarter, Willie Edwards ran back a punt 85 yards for a 21-0 lead. Edwards initially let the ball get past him but picked it up at the 15-yard line and made his way downfield.
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“I didn’t know if I should field it at first, but I just made a play, heard people yelling for me to pick it up, and I got some good blocks,” Edwards said.
South running back Darius Taylor also had a big punt return. Running one back for 61 yards and giving South their only touchdown of the night with 1:47 remaining in the game.
The only points scored by East in the second half came off of a safety from intentional grounding in the end zone by South quarterback Dominic Webb.
South coach Kevin Steiner said the fumble early in the game hurt by putting East in the position to score a quick seven points.
Steiner was disappointed that his team didn’t win but said he liked the intensity that he saw out of his players.
“I’m not pleased with losing but I feel like our team had growth this week,” Steiner said.
East coach Brian Byers said it was nice that his team got a win.
“We had two close ones there and we feel we should have won those and we let them slip by,” he said. “But tonight we won, so we’re happy.”
South was held to 65 yards of offense. Steiner said the offensive line needs some work so the rest of the offense has more time to run plays.
“We’ve got some skilled athletes, we’ve just got to be able to execute some simple things with our front five so that we can give them some space to work in,” he said.
Byers said that the team has some unconventional defensive strategies.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that can run and we give people a lot of fits with what we do with different looks,” Byers said.
E – D. Thomas 8 run (T. Thomas kick)
E – McGarity 21 pass from Bousfield (T. Thomas kick)
E – Edwards 85 punt return (T. Thomas)
S – Taylor 61 punt return (kick failed)
E — Safety, South intentional grounding in end zone
Rushing – East, Burnett 9-26, Brown 5-15, Thomas 20-92, Edwards 1-7, Bousfield 1-6. South, Wells 6-19, Taylor 3-17, Goudeau 1-(-4), Hudspeth 6-24, Webb 9-(-17), Ryce 1-(-4), Wilson 1-3.
Passing – East, Bousfield 1-7-21-0. South, Webb 8-16-27-0.
Receiving – East, McGarity 1-21. South, Blake 1-3, Taylor 5-11, Ryce 1-2, Wells 1-10, Goudeau 1-1.