Old vs. new

Published 3:57 pm Sunday, August 24, 2014

AHOSKIE – Southeast Halifax running back Jaquez McDaniel lived up to the pre-season hype Friday night in the first game of the season as the senior sprinter ran for 177 yards on 13 carries and a pair of touchdowns, spoiling the first-game debut of Terrance Saxby as Hertford County High School football coach.

Instead, it was another former Bears coach that walked off the field victorious as Greg Watford’s Southeast Halifax Trojans claimed a 32-14 win over the home team.

Late in the first quarter after a Hertford County punt set up Southeast at their own 37 yard line, the Trojans went on an eight-play 63-yard drive capped by Dequandray Howard’s 12-yard scamper to paydirt and Halifax was on the board first 6-0.  Quarterback David Watford passed to Tyreik Bryant for the two-point conversion and it was 8-0 with 1:44 left in the first.

After Southeast kicked off early in the second quarter, the Bears fumbled the snap on their first play from scrimmage and the Trojans recovered the ball right in the shadow of the end zone at the Hertford County 14-yard line.  However, the visitors could not overcome miscues.  Four penalties against Southeast pushed them back to the 29-yard line before Watford was intercepted on just his third pass of the night by the Bears’ Montavious Kelley and the Bears avoided early disaster.

However, the Bears could not capitalize on their good fortune and ended up punting the ball away.  Southeast started their second drive of the quarter at the Hertford County 36-yard line. Watford then cooly engineered a seven-play drive to the end zone that ended when Bryant scored his first six points of the night at the 6:41 mark.  The extra point attempt failed as the kick was short and the lead for Southeast was 14-0.

Neither team could mount any offense for the final six-and-a-half minutes of the first half, and as the clock expired Southeast headed to the end zone leading the contest by a pair of scores.

Hertford County opened the second half with its best drive of the game to that point.  The Bears drove the ball down to the Southeast seven-yard line thanks to a 30-yard run by senior running back Kevin Chavis while quarterback J.J. Gatling ran five times for 31 yards.  However, despite their great play, the home team was stopped on fourth down just short of a first and the ball went over on downs to SE Halifax.

Watford took a snap in the shotgun and bobbled it at the one yard line before fumbling it away as Hertford County linebacker Roman Hall fell on the pigskin and the Bears had their first score of the 2014 football season.  Martin Resendez kicked the extra point through the uprights and Hertford County had halved the deficit to 14-7 with 9:20 left in the third quarter.

Southeast answered back with a score of their own. McDaniel got into the end zone on just three carries of 18, 8, and 29 yards – the final sprint resulting in his first touchdown of the season and upped the score to 20-7 in favor of the Trojans.

With time running down in the quarter McDaniel scored again, this time on a 47 yard run through a legion of Bear tacklers into the end zone and it was 26-7 with 1:14 left in the third.  The senior had amassed 165 yards to that point with over 13 minutes still left in the game.

On the second play of the fourth quarter the Bears’ offense claimed their first score of the year when Gatling hit receiver Evan Simmons on a 14-yard touchdown strike.  Hertford County still had life, trailing 26-14 with 11:23 still left to play after Resendez booted through the extra point.

For most of the rest of the game the Trojans and Bears played to a stalemate before Southeast punched in one last garbage touchdown when Howard scored his second touchdown of the night on a five yard run that made the score 32-14 with 2:19 left.

Neither team mounted any offensive success the rest of the way and the game ended with the 18-point Southeast victory.

The Trojans ended the night with 293 yards of offense, 290 of it on the ground and just one pass completion for Watford.

Hertford County had 232 yards total with 150 of it rushing and 82 yards through the air.  Chavis finished the night with 65 yards rushing on 14 carries and 47 yards receiving while Gatling rushed for 62 and passed for 82.

Saxby and Hertford County (0-1) will have another chance at getting their first ‘W’ next week back at home when Wilson Hunt comes to Bear Stadium.  Southeast Halifax (1-0) stays on the road with a trip to Newton Grove where they will face Hobbton.