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Northeast surges in 2nd half for win

Varsity vs Henry County HS on 9/27/2012 7:00:00 PM
Posted Friday, September 28, 2012 by Leaf Chronicle

Northeast surges in 2nd half for win

Eagles knock off fourth-ranked Henry County

Written by George Robinson

 

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — For those looking for a repeat of last year’s debilitating losses to Henry County in the regular season and again in the first round of the playoffs, keep looking.

Northeast was in no mood to revisit the heartache it experienced as the Patriots beat the Eagles by a combined score of 93-21 in last year’s two games.

Thursday, all midstate eyes were on Northeast’s matchup against fourth-ranked and District 10 power Henry County as the featured game of the week for Thursday Night Lights.

And the Eagles performed to expectations, knocking off the Patriots 41-26 and giving Henry County its first district regular season loss since Clarksville High in 2009 and only the Patriots’ second district loss in the past six years.

“Henry County has dominated this district,” Northeast coach Isaac Shelby said. “And for us to come out tonight, stay disciplined, stay focused and pull out a win of this magnitude means something for our football team. It means that, tonight, we can play with the best teams around and that’s what we take away from this.”

The turning point came on defense as the Eagles stuffed Henry County on a fourth down play just as the Patriots were 10 yards from paydirt. Having just scored to take a 26-20 lead midway through the third quarter and having just created a turnover after picking off Northeast quarterback Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Henry County had the momentum and were marching.

But Northeast’s defense stood up the Patriots to take over possession. Reeves-Maybin and Dontavious Fort-Merriweather worked their magic as the Eagles were backed up on their own 5 yard line. the Tennessee commit had back-to-back 15-yard runs and Fort-Merriweather busted a 27-yard gain to give the Eagles breathing room.

That would lead to Jerome Jones’ 3-yard touchdown run as the fourth quarter started and a two-point conversion run gave Northeast a 28-26 lead.

“That was the game-changer for us,” Shelby said. “It gave us the confidence in that second half to really push ourselves to take advantage of that defensive stand and get this win.”

After the Patriots went three-and-out on its next possession, Northeast responded with a 12-play drive that resulted in Jones’ third touchdown of the night — a 7-yard plunge with 3:35 left in the game that all but iced the win.

Northeast’s Damoni Jones would finish off the scoring, picking off a desperate Henry County squad and returning it 69 yards for a touchdown.

And while Shelby and his Eagles celebrated a rare win against a team that had every District 10 opponent’s number the past decade, the second-year Eagles coach knows in eight days his team better be over it.

“We’ve got one of the most rugged teams in the state next,” Shelby said about facing Dickson County next Friday. “If we get too caught up in this win, we’ll have the opposite feeling next week.”

Reeves-Maybin was brilliant again in the clutch. He ran only four times in the first half but had 119 yards thanks in large part to a 78-yard scoring burst that got Northeast within 13-12 to start the second quarter. Reeves-Maybin would finish the game 17 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown. Jones had 98 rushing yards in the first half and ended with 138 yards on 14 carries and three scores.

Henry County rotated Strome Hilliard and Colton Randolph at quarterback with Hilliard doing most of his damage on the ground. The speedy QB broke off a 44-yard run in the second half and would finish with 103 rushing yards.

Northeast would take a 20-13 lead on Jones’ 37-yard scoring run with 8:28 left in the first half but Henry County tied the game just before halftime.

After the Patriots went three-and-out on its next possession, Northeast responded with a 12-play drive that resulted in Jones’ third touchdown of the night — a 7-yard plunge with 3:35 left in the game that all but iced the win.

Northeast’s Damoni Jones would finish off the scoring, picking off a desperate Henry County squad and returning it 69 yards for a touchdown.

And while Shelby and his Eagles celebrated a rare win against a team that had every District 10 opponent’s number the past decade, the second-year Eagles coach knows in eight days his team better be over it.

“We’ve got one of the most rugged teams in the state next,” Shelby said about facing Dickson County next Friday. “If we get too caught up in this win, we’ll have the opposite feeling next week.”

Reeves-Maybin was brilliant again in the clutch. He ran only four times in the first half but had 119 yards thanks in large part to a 78-yard scoring burst that got Northeast within 13-12 to start the second quarter. Reeves-Maybin would finish the game 17 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown. Jones had 98 rushing yards in the first half and ended with 138 yards on 14 carries and three scores.

Henry County rotated Strome Hilliard and Colton Randolph at quarterback with Hilliard doing most of his damage on the ground. The speedy QB broke off a 44-yard run in the second half and would finish with 103 rushing yards.

Northeast would take a 20-13 lead on Jones’ 37-yard scoring run with 8:28 left in the first half but Henry County tied the game just before halftime.

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