Parrott outlasts Northeast

Published 12:49 am Saturday, September 22, 2012

LASKER -It was a tale of two halves.

Northeast Academy won the first half in their showdown with Arendell-ParrottAcademy.

It was just the other two quarters where they came up short.

The Eagles scored as time expired just before halftime to lead the visiting Patriots by four, only to see Parrott score on each of their three third quarter possessions and clinch the 64-46 win in Colonial Carolina 8-Man football play.

Senior Michael Cooper accounted for the ‘hat-trick’ for the Eagles, scoring three touchdowns on the night.  Twice on the receiving end of scoring tosses from Christian Fleetwood and again on a spectacular 71-yard fourth quarter kickoff return.

Adam Creech also had a pair of scores for the Eagles (0-5) while Trey Futrell and Bo Daniels got the other Northeast scores of the night, the last one on a one-yard plunge late in the game.

“We came out with a lot of intensity in the first half,” said NEA coach Stevie Flythe. “I just wish we’d have kept it up in the second half.”

Northeast wasn’t rattled as Parrott scored in the first minute of the contest before the fans could even find their seats good, grabbing a 6-0 lead.

The Eagles methodically marched downfield and finished off the nine-play drive as Creech bulled his way into the end zone for the equalizer and knotted the game at 6-6.

Fortune smiled on the Red-and-White on the very next possession as Parrott coughed up the ball on their first play after the kick-off and Northeast took over near midfield at their own 48-yard line.

After a couple of runs, one by Fleetwood and the other by Daniels, plus an incompletion, Futrell shook off tacklers on a squeeze play and rumbled 32 yards for Northeast’s first go-ahead score of the night.

Some Northeast fan must have had their lucky horseshoe working for them, because Parrott would drive down to the Northeast one-yard line only to fumble again.  Zach Byers smothered the loose pigskin in the end zone and the Eagles got the ball on the 20-yard line on the touchback.

Five plays later, Fleetwood made his first scoring connection with Cooper and despite missing their third straight extra-point, Northeast led, 18-6 and held that margin thru the end of the quarter.

Parrott’s next drive was devoid of miscues and the Patriots cut the deficit to four after a touchdown and a two-point conversion made it, 18-14.

On Northeast’s next possession Fleetwood was intercepted and it only took Parrott two plays to find paydirt and re-take the lead, 22-18.

Northeast then used a nice ball-control drive to work the clock and with a little more than two minutes to the break on Creech’s second score of the night.  The extra-point made it, 26-22.

But it was a short-lived lead as Parrott went back in front with under a minute and a half to go and lead, 28-26.

With the clock ticking away until halftime, it looked like Northeast would trail going into the locker-room; but instead, Coach Flythe worked the clock brilliantly and with no time left in the second quarter, Cooper went up and hauled in a 5-yard lob from Fleetwood and the Northeast fans were happy to lead it, 32-28 at the break.

But the third quarter belonged to the team fromKinston.

Parrott scored on their opening drive of the third quarter and then took over on downs after holding Northeast to a four-and-out. The Patriots’ next score had them up by a dozen, 44-32.

Northeast’s next drive stalled as well and it took just one play for Parrott to score again and lead at the quarter, 50-32.

Things didn’t get better as Parrott scored on the opening drive of the fourth and were now ahead by 25 after a point-after kick.

However, Cooper brought the crowd back to life as he took the ensuing kickoff at his own 29, outraced even his own coverage and ended up tightrope walking down the sideline into the end zone for Northeast’s first score of the second half. A two-point conversion had the Eagles looking at a three-score deficit, 57-40.

Parrott then worked the clock.  The Patriots looked like they were stopped on fourth down after an incompletion at the Northeast 30-yard line, but an interference call against the Eagles gave Parrott new life.

The Patriots made the most of it and scored four plays later.  The extra point made it, 64-40 with five minutes remaining.

Northeast flexed up and punched on one more score on Daniels’ one-yard run, dragging tacklers, but Parrott (3-2) simply ran out the clock for their third win of the season.

“We always start games flat,” said Parrott coach Matt Beaman.  It cost us in two early games; otherwise we might be five-and-oh.”

“Two straight weeks of 40 points,” said Flythe with a smile. “These guys got a lot of heart and we’ve come a long ways.”

“I think you’re going to see something out of us the rest of the way,” he added.

Northeast travels to Merry Hill next week for a showdown with Lawrence Academy as both schools seek their first win.