Sep 22, 2012
Its pride a little damaged after back-to-back losses, the Southeast Raleigh football team needed to find its identity and Friday night’s 34-14 drubbing of Greater Neuse River Conference foe West Johnston seemed to do just that.
“This was very important,” Southeast coach Marvin Burke said. “We had to reestablish ourselves. We lost to a great team in Wake Forest-Rolesville and then we go to Harnett Central and get upset, and that’s what it was, and upset. So we needed to get back to basics and get back to fundamental Southeast football.”
And that meant showing doubters that the Bulldogs are still at team to be reckoned with, quarterback DeMontae Spence said.
“A lot of people were looking at us like we were a sorry team,” said Spence, who finished with 117 yards and two touchdowns rushing and 5 of 8 passing for another 74 yards. “We just needed to prove everyone wrong.”
The Bulldogs’ double-headed quarterback machine of Spence and Cameron Marshman played a huge role in that. The duo racked up 169 yards rushing and 126 yards passing in the first half, as Southeast jumped out to a 21-0 lead at the break.
It started slowly, however, for Southeast (4-2 overall, 1-1 Greater Neuse River). But a simple read by Spence midway through the second quarter broke open a scoreless tie.
Spence busted free on a keeper for a 68 yard run to the end zone that was pulled back to just a 49-yard gain on a Bulldogs’ penalty. But, that play opened the floodgates as three plays later Spence scampered in from 9 yards out – barreling over two would-be Wildcat tacklers for a 7-0 lead with 8 minutes, 17 seconds left in the first half.
“At first, their linebackers were biting a little bit on the play,”
Spence said. “So we decided to fake to the running back and keep it and run because it worked every time there.”
After West Johnston (2-3, 1-1) turned the ball over on downs at the Bulldogs’ 21, Marshman ran the same play – keeping the ball and dashing 65 yards to the 14. Blocks by receivers Ezra Jeffers and Sandy Chapman keyed the run downfield.
Marshman, who had 145 total yards on the night, kept the ball for another 6 yards before back-to-back handoffs to Aschod Meeks-Ewing went for a 5-yard gain and a 3-yard TD to make it 14-0 with 2:34 to go.
The Wildcats drove to the Bulldogs’ 49, but quarterback Justin Carroll was stuffed on 4th-and-4 by a mere inch to give Southeast the ball back with a short field.
The Bulldogs seemed to be going nowhere after a penalty and a loss of
5 yards, but Spence found a wide open Meeks-Ewing on 3rd-and-20 for 28 yards with 23 seconds left to keep the drive going.
Spence then ran 11 yards, hit Meeks-Ewing for a 21-yard pass down to the 1 and then snuck in on a QB run for with 2.5 seconds left.
Southeast made it 28-0 to open the second half, as Chapman took a handoff in motion from the left and dashed up the right sideline for a 59-yard score.
West Johnston finally found an answer on its next possession.
Carroll took a sack on the drive’s first play, but then connected on a screen pass to receiver Jonathan Stevens. Stevens caught the ball, shook off the tackle attempt of Jeremiah Rowland and sprinted in for a 66-yard score to make it 28-7.
Rowland had seven receptions for 160 yards on the night. Cameron Williams had six catches for 66 yards and the team’s other score on a 1-yard TD pass from Carroll with 2:08 left in the game. Carroll was 29 of 45 for 340 yards on the night. He had the two TD passes and three interceptions.
The other Bulldogs’ score came on a turnover that almost wasn’t. And it was the last of three plays that all ended in a turnover.
Carroll was stripped of the ball on a sack and Southeast’s Sam Anumihe recovered the ball and ran it back 52 yards with 2:25 left in the third quarter. However, Spence was intercepted by Ryne Turner at the15 on the next play.
Looking to capitalize on the wild swings, Carroll completed a pass to Stevens for 8 yards but Southeast linebacker Jaymerson Lockley swarmed in for the hit.
However, instead of just tackling the wideout, Lockley stripped him of the ball and promptly returned it 23 yards for a 34-7 Bulldogs’ lead with 23.4 seconds left in the quarter.
“Honestly, I was just going in for the hit,” Lockley said. “But then the ball was in my hands and I just took off and ran. I just saw open field and I went for it.”
The Bulldogs will hit the road next Friday to take on Clayton, while the Wildcats will travel to Knightdale.
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