Northeastern roughs up visiting Camden
Northeastern 61 Camden 0
By Mike Wood
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Really good teams know that they have to play their best football to beat their toughest opponents.
They also know that they have to play well against teams that they are expected to beat.
They have to stay motivated for the game at hand.
They have to take care of business. Northeastern High School did just that Thursday night, defeating Camden County by the score of 61-0 to remain unbeaten (3-0) in the young season.
"That is a challenge in a game like this," said Eagles head coach Antonio Moore. " You have to coach them to keep their intensity up, to not become complacent. No matter the score, you can't half-step, or you raise a greater risk of injury."
After two huge wins to start the season over established winning programs, D.H. Conley and Norview (Va.), you might think that Northeastern would come out and have a little let down.
On the contrary, in the near 90 degree heat, the Eagles blistered the Bruin defense for 40 first quarter points.
They spread the wealth as seven different Northeastern players scored touchdowns in the opening period.
On the second play of the game from scrimmage, Holden Hodge swept right end and scampered 50 yards for the first score.
Lucas Correia kicked the extra point and the Eagles led 7-0 just 18 seconds into the ballgame.
Camden would fumble on their first possession and the Northeastern recovery would lead to another quick score, a 17-yard scamper by Jerron Hinton.
Again, the Bruins could not move the ball, and a bad snap gave the Eagles the ball on the Camden 19-yard line.
Aided by a fourth down pass interference penalty, Northeastern scored their third touchdown of the night on a nine yard pass from quarterback Aaron Harris to wide receiver Jamari Ishman.
Another successful conversion kick pushed the score to 21-0.
Camden again went three plays and out, and a shanked punt set up the Eagles deep in Bruin territory.
This time it was Traveon Freshwater to carry the ball.
The outstanding senior, who has committed to play at East Carolina University next fall, scored almost untouched from 16 yards out.
Down by four scores, and showing no inclination to put the ball in the air, Northeastern loaded eight or nine players up close to the line against the Bruins.
Running inside or out, Camden running backs Ridge Johnson, Nysaun Bartlett, and Justin Noon fought for yardage, but they usually had to deal with contact before they even got to the line of scrimmage.
The Northeastern defensive lineman and linebackers are experienced and very active.
"We only had three returning starters on offense, but eight defensive players coming back this year," said coach Moore. "We expected our defense to be the rock of the team." The coach complimented several players on his defense, including senior linebacker Robert Ferguson, and "two defensive lineman who rotate a bit, Quasi Thomas and Wade Staten."
At the 1:11 mark of the first quarter, Juan Riddick got onto the score sheet. The sophomore running back raced 38 yards for a touchdown, and then just a few seconds later, the Eagles scored again on a 20-yard fumble return by freshman Kaeveon Freshwater. At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Kaeveon is the younger, but not little brother in the Freshwater football family.
A 61-yard TD run by Marcel Lewis, a second rushing touchdown by Hinton, and a 66 yard touchdown run by freshman Jordan Jones, the longest play of the night, would complete the scoring for the Eagles.
Despite the score, Camden head coach Josh Blood remained positive.
"We tried to simplify things on offense this week, but they had so much penetration we couldn't get going. But the kids did not quit. They were fighting and giving a full effort, and we can build on that."