In all three phases of the game, the Trojans dominated the Tigers as they jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead before going on to destroy the Tigers 34-8.
With the region win, the Trojans improved to 10-0 on the year with a 4-0 mark in the region. Ruleville fell to 2-8 overall with a 2-2 mark in the region.
"It was a total team effort tonight from this team, and I'm so proud of the effort,” East Side head football coach Roger Burton said. “We came out and played hard in all three phases; special teams, offense and defense. We were able to come out and get off to a quick start and that's always good. I liked the way we handled things tonight.
For only the second time this season junior quarterback Jalen Thomas got the start and Burton was pleased with the way he ran the team. Thomas rushed for 54 yards on three carries and completed 1-of-2 passes for 10 yards.
"Jalen is a good one for us,” Burton said. “He's a really good athlete and he can be a solid quarterback for us. He only needs the reps in practice and he's going to get those.”
The Trojans offense combined for 293 total yards of offense in a game where there was a running clock at the beginning of the second quarter.
East Side running back Quadre Butler, who saw limited action in the first half, finished the game with 54 rushing yards on six carries with a touchdown. Barron Burns also had a good night for the Trojans by rushing for 59 yards with a touchdown on eight carries as well as completing 1-of-1 passes for 40 yards. Dy'monquae Pates saw some time at quarterback as well by completing 2-of-4 passes for 21 yards with a touchdown. Pates also rushed for 17 yards on two carries.
The Ruleville defense played well for most of the night, but turnovers from the Tigers’ offense plagued the team.
To start the game, the Tigers’ defense forced a three and out and punt from the Trojans.
Ruleville’s offense started on its 11-yard line and after two tackles-for-loss by the Trojans and a fumbled snap by Ruleville quarterback Ontario Smith, the Tigers found themselves having to punt as they faced a fourth-and-18.
On the punt attempt, East Side's Vernell Baldridge broke through the line to block the punt in the end zone and recover it for the game's first touchdown with 8:12 left in the opening quarter. Thomas completed the 2-point conversion pass to Brandt Williams for an 8-0 East Side lead.
On Ruleville's next possession, it ended with a fumble recovered by the Trojans on the Tigers' 28-yard line.
On the first play for the Trojans, Butler burst through the right side of the line and reached the end zone with 6:33 on the clock in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, but the Trojans led 14-0.
The Trojans' defense was not done imposing its will on the Tigers. On the next drive, the Tigers had another miscue with a fumble, but this time the impact of the turnover was immediate as Kamien Lucas picked up the fumble and returned it 36-yards for a touchdown with 5:35 left in the first quarter. Thomas ran the two-point conversion in for a 22-0 East Side lead.
The Trojans forced another punt on the Tigers' next possession to get the ball back to their offense again in the first quarter.
Coach Burton mixed things up and put Burns in the game at quarterback. The move proved beneficial to the offense as he took direct snaps and ran the ball to draw the Tigers’ defense in. On the next play, Burns took the snap and made the Tigers’ defense pay for coming down to far as he connected with Lucas for his only pass of the night which ended up being a 40-yard gain.
On the next play, Thomas took a speed sweep 26-yards to the four-yard line and at the end of the run a facemask penalty by Ruleville moved the ball half the distance to the goal line. With 57 seconds left in the first quarter, Burns powered into the end zone from two yards out. The conversion attempt failed, but East Side led 28-0.
In the second quarter, the Tigers found themselves having to punt again, but Lucas was called for hitting the punter, which gave the Tigers their only first down of the first half.
The good fortune for the Tigers didn't go far as they faced another fourth down on the Trojans’ 35-yard line. They decided to go for it, but Smith's pass, which was about to be intercepted by East Side's Simeon Kimble inside the 10 yard-line, was knocked down by Burns on a heads-up play to give the Trojans the ball on the 35-yard line.
The Trojans’ offense took the field and had a good drive going but a fumble that was recovered by Ruleville's Tyler Pointer and returned 50 yards inside the Trojans’ 20-yard line ended the drive.
The Ruleville offense could not take advantage of the turnover and the first half ended with East Side winning 28-0.
The second half went fast with the running clock, but both teams managed to put points on the board.
In the fourth quarter, Pates connected with Padarrius Bronner for a 15-yard touchdown pass. The conversion failed, but East Side led 34-0.
Ruleville's only score came with 9:49 left in the fourth when Smith connected with Harry Rankin for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Smith connected with Rankin for the two-point conversion for a 34-8 game.
Currently, the Trojans are in first place in the region with the Velma Jackson Falcons sitting at second at 3-1. The Trojans and the Falcons will tangle at 7 p.m. Friday at East Side to determine who wins the region.
Ruleville and McClain are currently tied for third place at 2-2 in the region and will play at 7 p.m. Friday at McClain in Lexington.