Eagles stun Vikings
HALIFAX – Earlier this week Northeast Academy head coach Collin Sneed said his team was 12 quarters from a state championship.
Make that eight.
The number six ranked Eagles held off third seed Halifax Academy in a double overtime thriller here last night (Friday) as NEA defeated their long-time rivals, 24-18.
The win advances the Eagles to the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state semi-finals and a rematch with Word of God.
With the game tied at 12-12 at the end of regulation, the Eagles offense took the field at the 10-yard line.
Three plays later, Arch Harrell ran up the gut for the score.
The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Eagles clinging to a six-point lead, 18-12.
Halifax quarterback Brent Caudle rushed for four yards on the Vikings first two plays before connecting with Ian Ross for the six-yard score.
With the game on the line, Northeast defender Cole Vinson sacked Caudle on the conversion attempt, forcing a second extra session.
This time Halifax had the ball first.
Ross managed four yards on two carries.
On third down, James Sykes sacked Caudle in the backfield for a seven yard loss.
On fourth down Caudle’s pass to Jeremy Wells was batted down by Vinson, ending the Vikings hopes of breaking the tie.
A flag on Halifax for encroachment moved the ball to the 5-yard line as the Eagles lined-up for their second possession in OT.
On first and goal, senior quarterback Drew Pinnix ran into the endzone for the score and the 24-18 victory.
After falling to Halifax last week in the final game of the regular season, the Eagles took control of last night’s game early.
On their first possession of the game Northeast moved 85 yards in eight plays, including a 40 yard pass reception by Jay Duncan. The drive was capped off by a 10-yard scoring run by A. Harrell, the first of three touchdowns on the evening for the sophomore running back.
The conversion failed, but the Eagles struck first, taking a 6-0 lead.
The Vikings tried to answer, driving to the Northeast eight-yard line.
On fourth and five, Halifax’s Lewis Cooper attempted a field goal.
The snap was high and Josh Jenkins tackled the kicker, giving Northeast possession.
The Eagles defense came up big again at the top of the second quarter as freshman Zach Mize recovered a Halifax fumble.
Northeast took advantage of the turnover, mixing up their running game with a passing game as they moved 47 yards to the endzone.
A. Harrell had his second score of the night, this time a 2-yard run.
Pinnix’s conversion pass to Jenkins failed, but the Eagles extended their lead, 12-0.
This time the Vikings had an answer.
Caudle, the starting quarterback, entered the game after sitting out due to illness.
Caudle led the Vikings up the field in eight plays, running in 11 yards for the score.
Fields Johnson was stopped on the two-point conversion attempt as Halifax closed in, 12-6.
Both teams were forced to punt on their ensuing possessions and the Eagles got one more opportunity to score before the half.
With the ball on their own 45 yard line with 46 seconds on the clock, A. Harrell ran up the middle, breaking a tackle, for a 46-yard gain.
Inside the 10 the Eagles tried to get the ball in the endzone but were stopped on the one yard line as the clock expired.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Caudle scored his second touchdown of the night, a four-yard run.
Again the two-point conversion failed as the Vikings tied the score at 12 with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Vikings had an opportunity to steal the win after recovering an Eagles fumble with 3:41 on the clock.
Caudle rushed 45 yards on four carries, moving Halifax to the Eagles 13 yard line.
After a one yard run by Ross, Mize broke through the Vikings line to sack Caudle in the backfield for a loss.
Halifax’s Lewis Conger took the field to attempt a field goal, but the Vikings fumbled the snap.
Mize tackled the kicker, sending the game into overtime.
A. Harrell led the Eagles with 189 yards on 31 carries.
The offense posted 331 yards of total offense, including 81 passing yards from Pinnix.
Senior James Sykes led the Eagles defense with 13 tackles.
A. Harrell tallied 11 while Mize posted nine.
Score by Quarters
NEA – Arch Harrell, 10 yard run (run failed), 8:44; 1st
NEA n A. Harrell, 2 yard run (pass failed), 5:12; 2nd
HA n Brent Caudle, 11 yard run (run failed), 2:10; 2nd
HA nCaudle, 4 yard run (run failed), 10:20; 4th
NEA n A. Harrell, 4 yard run (run failed), 1st OT
HA n Ian Ross, 6 yard pass from Caudle (run failed), 1st OT
NEA n Drew Pinnix 5 yard run, 2nd OT
NEA n A. Harrell 31-189; Brandon Futrell 4-24; D. Pinnix 8-9; Brodie Harrell 4-6
HA n B. Caudle 24-141; I. Ross 15-87; Randy Fobbs 4-9; F. Johnson 2-4; Philip Meyers 1-3
NEA n Jay Duncan 2-48; B. Harrell 2-25; Josh Jenkins 1-8
HA n I. Ross 1-6
NEA n D. Pinnix 5-15-0, 81 yards
HA n B. Caudle 1-5-0, 6 yards