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Eastside, Riverside may be future schools for Northwood stars

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Saturday, August 29, 2015

• Game story here.

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Eastside quarterback T.J. Gist (10) led Eastside to its win over Riverside Friday night. His brother, Terrence, Northwood Little League standout, is also scheduled to attend Eastside High School.
 
 
 
 

Julie McCombs

Eastside quarterback T.J. Gist (10) led Eastside to its win over Riverside Friday night. His brother, Terrence, Northwood Little League standout, is also scheduled to attend Eastside High School.

 

 

 

 

The Northwood Little League World Series team was honored at halftime of Friday night's Eastside-Riverside game at Wade Hampton High School.

Northwood became the first team from South Carolina to reach the LLWS since 1950 and notched the first LLWS win for a team from the state.

The victory and narrow losses at the LLWS earned the Northwood team fans from across the state as well as a few from the "Twitter-verse," including Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and former South Carolina and current Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

The Northwood district includes players that could eventually play for both Riverside and Eastside high schools. Northwood's Terrance Gist's brother, T.J., is Eastside's quarterback.

TOUGH BREAK

Riverside senior punter Jordan Peden had an adventurous night – and not in a good way.

After junior long snapper Anthony White suffered a possible broken hand early in the game, two snaps were launched over Peden's head. Peden was able to corral the first one and get off a kick, which made it back to the line of scrimmage.

But the second errant snap rolled to the back of the end zone and Peden recovered it for the second safety of the game and an 11-0 Eastside lead.

TURF BREAK

Riverside Head Coach Phil Smith said the Warriors' home field is being worked on, and he expects it to be ready for Riverside's home opener on Sept. 18 against defending Class 4A Division II state champion Hillcrest.

The Warriors play back-to-back road games at Greer and Woodmont, respectively, over the next two weeks.

Smith said the shift away from home for the season opener was another mental obstacle for his players to try and overcome.

BACK IN THE SADDLE

Eastside Head Coach Steve Wilson, a former long-time Furman assistant and defensive coordinator, scored a shutout with his defense in his Eastside debut.

It was the Eagles' first shutout since scoring back-to-back blankings against Berea (20-0) and Travelers Rest (35-0) in 2013.

The shutout was preserved with a late fourth-quarter Riverside field-goal attempt from 35 yards out fell about a yard short of the cross bar.

Hillcrest was the last team to shut out the Warriors, a 38-0 road loss Sept. 19, 2014.

BEHIND THE STATS

Eastside senior kicker Alex Woznick never really allowed Riverside's return game to get on track. Woznick recorded three touchbacks of four kickoffs, including one after a penalty from the 35 yard-line.

Riverside put together a 10-play drive – the longest of the game by that standard – in the first quarter, but stalled near midfield after moving 28 yards and holding the ball for about three-and-a-half minutes.

Eastside linebacker Tyler Brown scored a safety and picked off a pass in the victory.

Eastside QB T.J. Gist left the game briefly in the first quarter due to an apparent leg injury before attempting a pass. But he returned to go 11-for-15 for 90 yards and a backbreaking 47-yard screen pass to Chance Pride that went the distance. The 47-yard touchdown was the game's longest play from scrimmage.

Gist is the brother of LLWS fame Terrence Gist nicknamed "Big T" for his 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds. He will attend Eastside but he is only in the 6th grade and 12 years old.

 

 

 

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