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WOG outlasts EAgles in opener

LASKER – It didn’t take place in New York City, but yet it sure resembled a marathon.

In a high school football game that nearly consumed three and one-half hours, visiting Word of God edged Northeast Academy, 44-40, at the finish line here last night (Friday) in the 2009 season opener for both squads.

When the clock finally hit all zeros around 10:50 p.m., the two teams had combined touchdowns, thusly making this game a bargain deal for the price of admission.

The game even started with a bang as WOG fumbled the opening kick-off, recovered by the Eagles at the visitors’ 40 yardline. From there, NEA struck quickly as quarterback Davis Harrell scored on an 8-yard run. Harrell added the conversion run, putting the Eagles up 8-0.

WOG fumbled away their next possession, recovered by NEA’s Will Glover, but the Eagles gave that gift back three plays later, with WOG’s Demetri Washington recovering. That set up Jaylen Parker’s 14-yard TD run. The conversion failed, leaving Northeast with an 8-6 lead.

After NEA turned the ball over on downs, the visitors went on a long drive capped by Parker’s 12-yard scoring run. The conversion run by Parker was good as WOG took its first lead at 14-8.

The second quarter saw the Eagles mount a long drive of their own, mixing the running and passing plays by Harrell. He capped the drive with a three-yard run, followed by a conversion run by Justin Francis as NEA reclaimed the lead at 16-14.

WOG answered right back with a quick score by Parker. The conversion run was good, swapping the lead back to the Raleigh visitors, 22-16.

With three minutes left in the first half, the Eagles punched in a score with Harrell performing the honors on a 16-yard run. He also added the conversion run as the Eagles took a 24-22 halftime lead.

WOG tried to hit a long pass right before the end of the half, but NEA defender James Pope picked off the aerial.

The Holy Rams recovered an onside kick to open the second half, setting up a three-play drive capped by Parker’s TD run and the conversion, staking the guests to a 30-24 advantage.

Not to be outdone, NEA used the running of Harrell, Pope and Francis to mount a six-play scoring drive. But instead of the typical ground attack, the Eagles scored this time on a 21-yard TD pass from Harrell to Glover. Francis added the conversion run as the lead see-sawed back to Northeast, 32-30.

Parker answered quickly when one play after the ensuing kick-off, he raced 70 yards for the go-ahead score. The conversion failed, but WOG grabbed the lead for-keeps at 36-32 late in the third quarter.

Northeast had a good drive going on their next possession, but it ended when Washington picked off a pass.

In the fourth quarter, Parker kept his team in the lead as he tossed a TD pass to Washington. Although the conversion failed, the Holy Rams padded their lead to 44-32.

Northeast did make it interesting down the stretch, using runs by Harrell and a key pass to Pope to reach the endzone again with just over three minutes left in the game. The conversion failed, accounting for the 44-40 finale.