Eagles ready for rematch
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007
LASKER – In their first meeting this season, turnovers were costly for Northeast Academy as the Eagles committed 11 in their 60-22 loss to Trinity Christian School.
This time Head Football Coach Collin Sneed is expecting a different outcome.
“We know we have a good chance,” Sneed said. “The players know a big part of them beating us last time was the turnovers. We want to see what happens when we play a good game.”
Northeast travels to Fayetteville Friday night to face Trinity in the second round of the eight man North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) playoffs.
The fourth seeded Eagles earned the trip after defeating Rocky Mount 78-28 in last week’s opening round.
The Crusaders hold the top seed after going 11-0 this season. They are back in the playoffs after sitting out the postseason in 2005 and 2006 after questions arose regarding the eligibility of players on their 2005 roster.
For Northeast, knocking off the top seed won’t be easy.
The Eagles have struggled at times this season in the first half, often depending on second half comebacks to pull out a victory. They fell behind 20-0 in their earlier meeting
and Sneed knows to win the game his team needs to win all four quarters Friday night.
“I feel like I’m putting all the playoff games in the senior’s hands,” explained Sneed.
“They know every time they step on the field it could be the last game they play. Everyone wants to play for the seniors. No one wants to end it right now.”
Another challenge for Northeast will be stopping Trinity’s running game. The Crusaders rushed for 617 yards, including 266 yards from Leforice Blue, in their regular season victory.
“Our linebackers were getting blocked by their offensive line. We’re going to try to play man-to-man to keep them away from the linebackers,” said Sneed.
“We need to hold on to the ball, continue to run hard, cut down on penalties and play fundamentally sound football,” Sneed continued.
Northeast will be aided by the return of senior running back and linebacker Brodie Harrell, who missed the last two games due to illness. They will also have junior Brandon Futrell, who was injured when these two teams met earlier in the season. Both players have surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark several times this season with Futrell rushing for over 200 yards in last week’s victory.
The winner will move on to the state championship where they will play either Halifax Academy or Parrott Academy.