Bears rally, fall to Northeastern

Published 11:50 pm Friday, September 16, 2011

ELIZABETH CITY – They came up just short.

Despite rallying from a 27-7 second half deficit, Hertford County couldn’t quite get over the hump here Friday night. The Bears dropped a heart-wrenching 33-29 decision to Northeastern High School.

The Bears found themselves in a 20-point hole early in the second half, but quickly responded.

Trailing 27-7, the Bears put together a three-play, 63-yard drive to turn the momentum back in their favor. Aaron Thomas capped the drive with a six-yard run. The kick failed, but the Bears were within 27-13.

Moments later, the Bears were in the endzone again when Thomas capped a 39-yard drive with a three-yard plunge. The two-point conversion was good when Dorrien Askew connected with Montel Lewter, cutting the advantage to 27-21.

Northeastern wasn’t ready to fold, however, as quarterback Kareem Felton led the Eagles on a 10-play, 72-yard drive. He scored himself on a two-yard quarterback sneak. The conversion failed, but Northeastern had pulled back in front 33-21.

HCHS rallied again, however, scoring on a two-yard run by Lewter after a fumble recovery. Lewter added the conversion run as well and the Bears had closed the gap to 33-29 with 8:02 remaining to play.

From there, the Bears had two late opportunities to steal the road win, but came up short on both.

The first was when they recovered a fumble inside the Northeastern five-yard line, but immediately turned the ball over. The other came as time wound down when the Bears blocked a punt and drove to the nine-yard line, but were turned away.

Askew led the Hertford County ground attack with 142 yards on 16 carries.

Felton was the biggest weapon for the Eagles as he passed for 252 yards on 18-of-27.

The teams combined for 639 yards of total offense.

In the first quarter, Northeastern scored on the first possession to take a quick 6-0 lead. Brandon Brower hit paydirt on a six-yard run with 9:13 remaining in the first period.

The Bears came back on their next possession, however, driving 87 yards on eight plays. Askew capped the drive with a 41-yard run down the right sideline. Ackerman Grace’s kick made it 7-6 in favor of HCHS with 5:08 to play.

Northeastern came right back, scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter. McKenzie Etheridge hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Felton and then A.J. Felton scored on a one-yard run. That gave Northeastern the 20-7 halftime lead.

The Bears dropped to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the Northeastern Coastal Conference. They will host unbeaten Edenton next week in Ahoskie.

(Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Senior Analyst Gattis Hodges contributed to this story.)