Aug 18, 2012
Replacing do-everything quarterback David Washington on the Southeast Raleigh football squad would daunt many.
Not Cameron Marshman.
The sophomore completed 11 of 19 passes for 175 yards, including a touchdown, as the Bulldogs rallied to knock off Millbrook 13-9 on the road in both teams’ season opener Friday night.
“I felt a lot of pressure,” Marshman said. “Dave, he went out being so good, it was me coming in and I felt like I had to live up to his standards.”
He certainly did late.
With the Wildcats (0-1) up 9-7, Southeast Raleigh (1-0) got the ball at the 7-yard line when Millbrook punter Jarrett Cervi placed a perfect punt with 5 minutes and 3 seconds to go in the game.
“I felt pretty good about things then,” Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore said. “They had 93 yards to go and just five minutes left. Our defense had played very well.”
But two big plays – both Marshman passes to receiver Sandy Chapman – pulled the Bulldogs out of the hole and set up the game-winner.
The first was a 37-yard completion from the 19. The second came on a 34-yarder that put the ball on the 11 with 2:35 on the clock.
“We were two big plays away,” Inscore said.
After a 2-yard loss by tailback Aschod Meeks-Ewing and a 5-yard illegal procedure penalty, the Bulldogs sat at the 16 with 1:18 to go.
Meeks-Ewing took a handoff and scampered to the right pylon, coming up just short as three Millbrook defenders knocked the diving back out of bounds.
“I tried to get in there, but just missed,” said Meeks-Ewing, who led all rushers with 70 yards – all in the second half.
On the next play, Meeks-Ewing took the draw into the end zone with 41 seconds to go.
“It was the best feeling in the world,” he said. “I didn’t play in the first half, and I wanted to go out there and pick my teammates up.”
Late in the first half, Marshman completed three passes to three different receivers, getting the game’s first score by finding Chapman over the middle. Chapman hauled in the pass, shook the tackle of Khalil Spears, and streaked into the end zone for a 33-yard score with 7:54 left in the first half. He finished with nine receptions for 145 yards.
Gary Nava’s extra point made it 7-0 Bulldogs.
Southeast coach Marvin Burke said his young quarterback showed tremendous poise.
“Not taking anything away, but you graduated one of the best quarterbacks in the state. So you know it’s hard to have a 10th grader step up into that position.”
He said it showed most on errant snaps. Five times a snap was either wide or in the ground, each time Marshman covered the ball.
“I know we had a few bad snaps, but he recovered and kept the ball,” Burke said. “None of those bad snaps ever changed possession.”
Inscore agreed that those plays were huge.
“That was very smart,” he said. “He got back there and fell on the ball. A lot of kids would have tried to get up and make big plays. But he didn’t.”
In the second half, Millbrook’s defense came alive as a pair big tackles stated the Wildcats weren’t going down without a fight.
Dillon Dawkins’ sack early in the second half stuffed a Southeast drive and Davion Allred tackled Meeks-Ewing in the endzone for a safety to make it 7-2 with 2:43 to go in the third quarter.
The Wildcats got the ball back with 11:51 to go in the fourth with a short field from their 49.
Quarterback Lamar Harris completed a 17-yard strike to Corey Cooper. That was followed by a 10-yard run by Trey Threatt. Harris finished 14 of 22 for 135 yards. Cooper caught five passes for 54 yards.
While in the huddle, a cool rain began and it appeared that the flood gates would open up for Millbrook. On the next play, Harris threw a perfect ball to the right corner of the end zone where David Robinson hauled in the 22-yard pass on his back for the score.
The extra point by Cervi made it 9-7 Wildcats with 11:01 to go.
However, the dam was closed quickly, as Millbrook managed just 16 yards the rest of the way.
The win opened Burke’s tenure with the Greater Neuse River squad in style. Burke replaced the retired Daniel Finn.
“I’ve won here before,” Burke said. “Even if it was as an assistant. It’s still a win. Just a new set of kids. It doesn’t feel any different than when Finn was the coach and I was a defensive coordinator. I’m just happy for the kids more than anything.”
Next week, Southeast Raleigh will host Broughton, while Millbrook hits the road to Knightdale.
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