There's one rule Northeastern football aims to abide by this season.
Put the ball in Ge'Dari Liverman's hands. A lot.
And with it, victories should remain the norm for the Eagles, such as in Friday's 40-0 season opening romp against Southern Vance.
The senior, a preseason All-State selection by several media outlets, threw for two touchdown passes, caught a pass, scored on a punt return and ran in a two-point conversion.
“He’s that type of kid,” NHS coach Antonio Moore said. “He can do it, and we’re going to put him where we need him. If he can fill the void at that particular time, then that’s what he’s going to do.
“And he can do it.”
Oh, and kicking and punting, too.
Liverman kicked off shortly after tossing his first score to Tyleik Overton late in the second half against a Vance squad all too overwhelmed by Mr. Do Everything, let alone the rest of the Eagles for a second-straight year.
He booted two punts, averaging just more than 31 yards.
“It’s a lot going on, but I get used to it in practice because we do it over and over,” said Liverman, who threw for 110 yards. “Sometimes I’ll get tired, but I’ll keep going and pushing through the tiredness.”
It only adds to the ‘slash’ factor of the three-sport athlete: meaning the number of football positions he can play on any given night separated by that punctuation mark.
Quarterback/receiver/defensive back/punt returner/kick returner/punter/kicker.
“I’d like to play running back,” Liverman said. “It would be nice to play. It just looks fun.”
So much fun that he did some of that anyway while under center, gaining 28 yards on eight carries.
Some departures from last year’s 11-3, 2A East Regional final squad have necessitated Liverman’s large standing thus far, but Moore expects others to better help with the load.
Devonte Rountree started his first varsity game at quarterback Friday and began to gain some footing in the offense by the second half, when a 22-point third quarter effectively kept the Raiders at bay.
His maturation is just as crucial as Liverman’s play, Moore said.
“Once we mold Devonte along the way we want to, then Ge’Dari will see less time,” Moore said. “Then we can take him out of the lineup for a breather. But until then, Ge’Dari will play in a lot of places.
“If we can put him on the field with Ge’Dari offensively, then we’re better off.”
Rountree had a touchdown throw to Tivis Vaughan in the third, and even recorded an interception off of Vance quarterback Jerry Throckmorton in the second.
“I had the butterflies the first half, but the second half I got used to it,” said the soft-spoken Rountree. “We got the win in the first game, so I feel more confident now.”
An assortment of running backs also got time to show off their skills.
Eight NHS players got totes, highlighted by Clarence Jones and Jabari Brooks’ combined 123 yards on the ground.
“Running back by committee,” Moore said. “That person will emerge before long and probably before the conference. If not then it’s just by committee.”
Or the new ol’ reliable, who doesn’t seem fazed by any do-it-all moniker.
“Just don’t think about it,” said Liverman on getting winded at times. “Just keep going and think more about what I can do to help the team out.”