Davis, defense lift Northeast over Rocky Mt.

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

LASKER – When a team is able to blend an opportunistic offense with an aggressive defense, chances are above average that you’ll come away with a win.

That was the formula Northeast Academy used here Friday night as quarterback Tyler Davis ran for two scores and threw for another while the Eagles defense stiffened at two critical stages of the game to highlight a 21-6 homecoming win.

With the victory, Northeast improved to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the Northern Division of the Colonial Carolina Conference.

While Davis proved as a wrecking ball for the Eagles – the senior passed for 106 yards and rushed for 101 – it was a pair of key defensive stands by Northeast inside their own red zone that preserved the victory.

Leading 14-6 late in the second quarter, the Eagles coughed up the football at their own 13 yardline. However, a big stick by Jason Brinkley on a first down snap was followed, two incomplete passes later, by a key pass break-up in the endzone by Barry Barrett that kept Rocky Mount off the scoreboard.

However, two plays later, the Eagles turned it right back over off a tipped pass that was intercepted. That set-up the visitors at the NEA 28 yardline, but the Eagles defense was again up for the challenge Brinkley picked off a pass at his own 17 yardline, one of two aerial thefts for the senior on this night.

That was it for Rocky Mount who never mounted another serious scoring challenge for the remainder of the game. The visitors were limited to 151 total yards of offense (83 rushing yards on 32 carries and 68 yards through the air).

It was the aerial route that Rocky Mount used to score the game’s first touchdown.

Taking over at their own 20 yardline following an NEA punt, Rocky Mount drove 80 yards in nine plays, capped by an 11-yard touchdown strike from John Stilley to Scott Williams on the first play of the second quarter. The conversion run failed, leaving the guests with a 6-0 lead.

The Eagles answered with a scoring drive of their own, marching 65 yards in just five plays. The last snap was a perfectly executed corner-post route as Davis fired a 30-yard TD pass to Barrett. Drew Pinnix’s PAT kick was blocked, but Northeast had forged a 6-6 tie at the 9:24 mark of the second quarter.

Much to the delight of the large homecoming crowd, the Eagles struck paydirt again less than one minute later. Set-up by a Dustin Deloatch fumble recovery at the Rocky Mount 15 yardline, Davis scored on the next snap when he was flushed out of the pocket, rolled right and tightroped the sideline en route to a 15-yard scoring run. Davis added the conversion run for a 14-6 halftime lead.

Another key defensive play, this one in the fourth quarter, set the table for the game’s final score as Pinnix stepped in front of a Stilley pass to give Northeast possession of the pigskin. Sparked by a 21-yard, tackle-breaking run by Barrett (who finished with 68 rushing yards on 12 carries), the Eagles scored six plays later on Davis’ bullish 26-yard run to the endzone. Pinnix split the uprights with the PAT, accounting for the 21-6 finale.

Northeast travels to Lawrence Academy next Friday night.