Northeastern spoils Bertie bid

Published 11:52 pm Friday, October 8, 2010

WINDSOR – It wasn’t the Homecoming the Falcons had hoped for.

Bertie was planning to vault back into prominence in the Northeastern Coastal Conference by knocking off league heavyweight Northeastern here last night (Friday).

And the Falcons had opportunities, but couldn’t quite make the most of them as they dropped a 26-6 decision to the Eagles.

Bertie appeared ready to draw first blood in the contest, marching 53 yards in just three plays to the Northeastern three-yardline on its first possession.

Darius Moody had a 42-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and then Thomas Perry added an 11-yard run to move the ball to the two-yardline.

On the next play, the Falcons turned the ball over on a fumble and Northeastern took full advantage.

The Eagles drove 98 yards for the first score of the night and did so in 11 plays. Mason James did the bulk of the work early, picking up 17 yards and then 15 on successive plays.

The Eagles then turned to Denzel Ward who had 31 yards rushing on the drive, including the 10-yard scoring jaunt. Brandon Swayne added the PAT and Northeastern led 7-0 with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter.

After forcing a Bertie punt, Northeastern added to its lead, going 33 yards on three plays to score again. James got the scoring run this time, going in from two yards out with 1:38 to play in the quarter. The kick was blocked, but Northeastern led 13-0.

The Falcon special teams got things going late in the second period when Moody returned a punt 55 yards for a score after it was partially blocked by Bertie – their tenth such block this season.

The run failed, but Bertie had cut into the lead at 13-6.

Instead of taking a knee to end the first half with a lead, Northeastern decided to throw the football. DeVonta Speller had other ideas, however, and picked off the pass.

The Falcons had less than one second on the clock and a bad snap ended the first half with Bertie within striking distance at 13-6.

Northeastern added to its lead late in the third quarter when Terry Williams capped a 14-play, 68-yard drive with a five-yard run to paydirt. The two-point conversion failed, but the Eagles led 19-6.

The Falcons punted away the next possession and a solid return gave the Eagles possession at the Bertie 30-yardline.

The BHS defense rose to the occasion, however, forcing the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs.

Bertie couldn’t get things going offensively and had to punt the ball away again and that set up Northeastern’s final score. The Eagles drove 48 yards six plays to get their last touchdown. James had the four-yard scoring run and Swayne added the PAT as Northeastern took the 26-6 lead.

Bertie was unable to move the ball again on the next possession and kicked the ball away which allowed the Eagles to run out the clock.

Northeastern had 313 yards of total offense. The attack was balanced as the Eagles had 162 yards rushing and 151 passing in the contest. James had the bulk of the running attack, picking up 88 yards on 17 carries.

Williams threw for all 151 on 10-of-16 for the evening. He also had 26 yards rushing.

Bertie had 122 yards, all coming on the ground. Moody led the attack with 50 yards on four carries while quarterback Malcolm Cherry had 34 yards on 11 carries.

Bertie (2-5) won’t have long to bounce back as they will host Pasquotank County High School (3-3) on Tuesday in a makeup game from last week.

(By Billy Harrell, Senior Sports Writer)