Eastside Rams handle Trenton in spring game

Eastside Rams defender Darius Robinson, left, takes the helmet off of Trenton Tigers wing back Kade Rogers during the spring scrimmage at Citizens Field.

MATT STAMEY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

Much has happened since the last time Class 5A Eastside and Class 1A Trenton played a spring football game.

Last Thursday night, the two teams played each other, with the Rams holding off the visiting Tigers 21-17 at Citizens Field. Eastside scored the first 21 points, all in the first half, and Trenton scored the next 17 points, all in the second half.

The Rams are coming off their first district title since 2008 and look to replace five first-team all-area performers, including quarterback Sir Jackson. Landon Rogers, who will be a junior next fall, will be more of a pocket passer and gave a glimpse of what to expect.

After missing his first two attempts, Rogers hit 8 of 11 for 114 yards and two touchdowns as Eastside built an early 21-0 first-half lead.

“He had to get the cobwebs out,” Eastside coach Jeff Parker said of Rogers. “He was able to get his composure together and do what he needed to do. We were able to put some points on the board in the second period.”

Last season, in a backup role, Rogers still passed for 807 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Under new offensive coordinator Chris Lewis, the Rams tweaked their offense.

“We will rely more on our running game and more on Landon passing the ball,” Parker said. “Landon is a sharp kid. We are going to rely on him making good decisions and putting us in good situations out there on the field.”

Last Thursday, most of the rushing came from incoming senior Dantez Willis and incoming junior Octavious Simmons, who combined for 76 yards rushing in the first half against the Tigers. Simmons also had three receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Barry Johnson, a returning first-team all-area defensive lineman, had constant pressure on Trenton quarterback Stephen Smith.

Larry Savage is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.

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