Apalachee’s bid to upset Eastside on the road Thursday night, Oct. 8, got off to a promising start with a defensive touchdown in the first minute of the game. But the Wildcats’ offense was kept in check throughout the night, and the early momentum gave way to the Sincere Johnson show as the Eagles’ senior running back rushed for three touchdowns and added a touchdown reception in Eastside’s 35-7 victory in Covington.
The Wildcats (0-5, 0-2 GHSA Region 8-AAAAA) were hoping to perhaps catch Eastside (4-1, 2-0) peeking ahead to a showdown next week with Clarke Central — which is being billed as a matchup between the region’s top two teams — and senior defensive back Malcom Johnson gave his team an early lift, scooping up a fumble on a lateral pass and racing 34 yards into the end zone to give Apalachee a 7-0 lead 38 seconds into the contest.
But after both teams exchanged punts, the Eagles scored on their next three possessions, the first a 67-yard touchdown drive. A 39-yard completion got the Eagles down to Apalachee 1, and Johnson took a direct snap and strolled into the end zone on the next play to even the score with 6:35 left in the quarter.
After Apalachee’s ensuing possession ended with a punt, Eastside’s next drive covered 76 yards and ended when quarterback Dayton Green connected with Johnson at the 10 and he shook off a Wildcat defender before gliding in the rest of the way untouched for a 22-yard score with 8:16 left if the first half. The Eagles then took advantage of a really short punt to start their next possession at the Wildcat 40 and needed only a few plays before Green threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Montarious Reed.
The Wildcats went three-and-out to start the second half, and a big punt return set the Eagles up for a short 38-yard touchdown drive — capped by a 3-yard run by Johnson.
Johnson would go on to polish off the night with one more score on a 1-yard plunge early in the fourth quarter.
Apalachee will be back in action Friday, Oct. 16, when it hosts Greenbrier in another region game. The Wolfpack are 4-1 overall and 1-1 in region play following a 21-7 loss at Walnut Grove.