After starting the season 1-3, East High has won three straight and they've done it with defense.
"We had a couple of sacks, forced a fumble -- the kids just did a wonderful job," East coach Starling Bryant said of the Panthers' 6-0 victory over Grover Cleveland, which handed the Presidents' their first loss. "I couldn't be more proud of the kids."
East is 2-4 in league play. Its three-game win streak has come against McKinley (6-0), Niagara Catholic (60-0) and Grover.
Many were looking forward to a prospective battle of unbeatens (and season-long favorites to play for the Harvard Cup) next week when Grover takes on Riverside at 12:30 p.m.
Instead, East will try and finish with two more wins in an effort to make the playoffs. Eight of the nine Harvard Cup teams are still within striking distance of a 4-4 record.
"We've got Burgard, then South Park, and we're hoping to get into the playoffs but it's going to be a battle," said Bryant. "After scoring 60 on Niagara Catholic it got their confidence going and they feel pretty good about themselves.
"The kids have been working hard. They never got down. They stayed positive and kept the faith, and the end result of it is a win like this."