Rams come up short


Published: Friday, November 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 1, 2002 at 12:59 a.m.
There were no playoff berths at stake, no aspirations of extending seasons or playing for trophies. Thursday night at Citizens' Field, it was all about pride. And Tallahassee Chiles and Eastside had plenty of it.
Unfortunately for the Rams it was the same story - too much youth and too little depth - as Eastside suffered a hard-fought 26-14 district defeat to the Timberwolves.
The loss sent the Rams to 2-7 while the Timberwolves moved to 3-6.
"We played hard, for pride," Eastside coach Kent Johnson said. "There's a lot of school pride here. Our coaches never let them quit. Sometimes when you go through adversity, people can't deal with it. But not our kids, they came to play."
To its credit, Eastside fought and scrapped and plugged away until the final horn against a bigger, more experienced, more talented team. Rams senior quarterback Felton Woulard, who rushed and passed for Eastside's two scores, was the catalyst. He was pressured and hurried all night, but finished 9-for-20 for 128 yards.
"They were a little stronger up front," Johnson said. "We tried to throw the ball with the short-passing game."
With a group of primarily young ball carriers, Eastside was held to just 27 yards rushing on 21 carries. The Rams trailed 14-0 in the first half but fought back to tie the game 14-14 in the third quarter - a testament to their effort. Woulard hit Tim Shankle in the corner of the end zone from 11 yards out on fourth down to tie the game at 14 with 9:33 left in the third quarter. The touchdown came after Chiles fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half. It would be the Timberwolves lone mistake.
From that point, Wolves tailback Will Carlson took over. He rushed for 159 yards on 25 carries, often times carrying two, three or four defenders several yards downfield with him.
"We feel like we have a very good little tailback," Chiles coach Jodie Sprenkle said. "We felt like we could use him against them."
The Timberwolves other weapon, senior kicker Paul Johnson also played a huge role in the win. Johnson broke the 14-14 tie with a 44-yard field goal late in the third quarter, then put his team ahead 20-14 with a 27-yarder early in the fourth. Eastside never recovered.
Johnson had his final extra point blocked, his first point-after miss of the season. To demonstrate how talented Johnson is, consider that Sprenkle said afterward this was his worst game of the year.
"Two of his kickoffs didn't go out of the end zone," Sprenkle said.
Johnson has made field goals as long as 62 yards in practice and is being heavily recruited by Wake Forest among other schools, but has made no commitment.
You can reach Brandon Zimmerman by calling 374-5051 or by e-mail at zimmerb@gvillesun.com

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