Eagles outlast Halifax

Published 3:51 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

LASKER – With a final score more reminiscent of a basketball game, Northeast Academy scored twice over a two-minute span late in the game here last night (Friday) to edge arch rival Halifax Academy, 60-52, in eight-man football action.

Trailing 46-44 after a Halifax touchdown with 8:49 remaining, Northeast came roaring back.

The home-standing Eagles grabbed the lead for-keeps on a big play – a 40-yard scoring pass from Brad Johnson to James Pope. Justin Francis ran in the conversion for a 52-46 NEA lead with 4:30 left in the game.

Then, after stopping Halifax on a fourth-down play near midfield, Northeast put the ball in the hands of Francis who darted 44 yards to paydirt. Pope added the conversion as Northeast opened up a 60-46 advantage with 2:30 remaining.

Halifax did add a late score of their own on a 45-yard TD pass and the Vikings had the ball for the game’s last possession, but a tackle by Russ Flythe and Judd Smith on the game’s final play sealed the win for the Eagles (2-1 overall).

Halifax roared out to a 14-0 lead by scoring on runs by Joshua Thaxton (5 yards) and Luke Lucas (30 yards).

NEA answered with strong runs by Pope, Francis and Davis Harrell to set-up a 16-yard TD pass from Harrell to Pope. Francis added the conversion run as Northeast trailed 14-8 late in the first quarter.

The two old rivals then began trading touchdowns. Northeast scored on a jaunt by Harrell (53 yards) and added a 65-yard TD pass from Johnson to Justin Lassiter, but still trailed 30-24 at halftime.

The Eagles tied the game at 30-30 on the opening series of the second half. There, four running plays by Francis (for a combined 33 yards) set the table for Johnson’s 20-yard scoring pass to Caleb Newsome at the 8:36 mark of the third quarter.

Later in the third period, Northeast claimed its first lead of the night (36-30) on a 5-yard run by Francis.

From there, Halifax scored twice to grab a 46-44 lead. Those two scores were sandwiched around another TD run by Francis, this one covering 68 yards.