COVINGTON -- Even playing with an extra player was not enough to give the Eagles the edge as Apalachee dealt Eastside a 3-1 loss on Tuesday at Homer Sharp Stadium.
The Eagles (2-3-1 overall, 0-2 Area 8-AAAA) had a man advantage the final five minutes of the first half and the entire second half following a red card on an Apalachee (3-4, 1-1 Area 8-AAAAA) player.
The player advantage did help the Eagles late in the first half as Levi Rhodes scored Eastside's only goal with 2:19 left on the clock.
"He made one of the plays we need to start making," Eastside head coach Champ Young said. "He stuck his nose in there and caused a loose ball in the box. Then, with some scrappiness in the middle, he won it and put it away like we need to do."
Eastside had several chances to score with both teams at full strength. But time and time again they were rejected, giving the Wildcats a bit more momentum with each unsuccessful attempt.
"They get frustrated, you can see it," Young said. "It's almost like the 'Oh no, here we go again' deal. We just have to keep working at it and keep shooting because you're not going to score unless you shoot."
Even though Eastside had several good pushes in the second half, it was the Wildcats who came out ready to play. Apalachee was able to get in position and move the ball around, putting the ball in position to score.
The Wildcats took the lead in the 18th minute of the second half before putting the game away four minutes later as Eastside was unable to find the back of the net.
"We play down to the level of our competition and freeze if something goes wrong," Young said. "Right now, we're not doing well with adversity. We have to overcome it, especially with us being as young as we are.
"We had momentum going in (the second half) and played fairly well, we just didn't come out with any life or energy and they punished us for it."