NEA closes out football season with big win

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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KINSTON – By the time Northeast Academy senior lineman William Coggins lined up and took a handoff, the game was more than decided.

Coggins’ carry came moments after fellow senior lineman Payton Brinkley grabbed his first career reception in Northeast Academy’s 38-8 win over Bethel Christian Academy of Kinston.

The two linemen getting their opportunities at a reception and carry came courtesy of the senior class leading their team to a regular-season ending victory that helped the Eagles finish with a 4-4 record.

Dalton Vann and Dawson Vann led the Eagles’ rushing attack. Dalton Vann also completed five of six passes for Northeast.

Nathan Trevino, the team’s fifth senior, helped lead the Eagles with seven tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery, as well as a touchdown on the offensive side.

After Bethel picked up a first down, their opening drive stalled and they faced fourth down. It was at that point Jaden Medford recorded the first of his nine tackles, dropping the quarterback for a two-yard loss and giving his team the football.

Northeast drove the ball down the field thanks to runs of 17 and 12 yards by Dawson Vann. Dalton Vann capped the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Dawson Vann added the conversion and Northeast led 8-0 with 5:36 to play in the first quarter.

Bethel again picked up a first down, but this time it was Brinkley who ended the drive, pouncing on a fumble.

A pair of pass interference calls on Bethel helped the Eagles move the ball to the three-yard line. Dawson Vann capped the drive with a three-yard plunge. He also added the conversion and the Eagles led 16-0 with just six ticks gone from the second quarter clock.

Trevino recovered a Bethel fumble on the next drive and Northeast made short work of the possession as Dalton Vann went 60 yards on the first play of the drive, adding to the NEA tally. Dawson Vann added the conversion and the Eagles led 24-0 with 10:52 to play in the second quarter.

Bethel drove the football all the way to the Northeast 7-yard line on its next possession, but there Coggins turned them away on fourth down to give the ball back to the Eagles.

Northeast then set sail on a 13-play drive that covered the 97 yards. On the drive, Dalton Vann connected with Jaden Medford and Judson Smith to get the Eagles within striking distance.

Then, as the play clock hit all zeros for the half, Vann threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Medford. Dalton Vann carried in the two-point conversion and the Eagles led 32-0 at the intermission.

With NEA football boss Stevie Flythe substituting liberally, there were only two more scores in the contest.

Trevino scored on a two-yard run with 7:01 to play and Bethel added a late 44-yard run to establish the final score.

Dalton Vann carried the ball 11 times for 136 yards, while Dawson Vann picked up 71 yards on 11 carries. Medford carried the ball nine times, picking up 51 yards. Trevino added 20 yards on six carries.

Medford grabbed three receptions totaling 55 yards while Brinkley had a single reception for five yards. Smith closed out the receiving tally with one grab for three yards.

Dawson Vann had 10 tackles to lead the Eagles, followed by nine (including one tackle for loss) by Medford. Greyson Bridgers tallied eight tackles while Trevino had seven tackles, two for loss and one fumble recovery.

Coggins added six tackles, including two for loss, while Dalton Vann had five tackles. Camden White added four tackles, including one for loss. Brinkley, Smith and Mason Vann also recorded multiple tackles each.