November 18, 2017
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  • Take A Peek: Northeast's Davon Carroll had already left North County tacklers in his dust when he blazed downfield for a 70-yard kick-return touchdown—his second kick-return touchdown of the game—during the Eagles' crazy 33-32 win over the Knights on Friday.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Take A Peek: Northeast's Davon Carroll had already left North County tacklers in his dust when he blazed downfield for a 70-yard kick-return touchdown—his second kick-return touchdown of the game—during the Eagles' crazy 33-32 win over the Knights on Friday.
  • Marcus Streeb celebrated his second touchdown of the game, which came late in the fourth quarter and set up a two-point conversion by Demontay Snowden that lifted the Eagles to a 33-32 victory over North County on Friday.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Marcus Streeb celebrated his second touchdown of the game, which came late in the fourth quarter and set up a two-point conversion by Demontay Snowden that lifted the Eagles to a 33-32 victory over North County on Friday.
  • Demontay Snowden and Anthony Vallinotti celebrated after Snowden's two-point conversion run put the Eagles ahead for good, 33-32, in the team's win over North County.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Demontay Snowden and Anthony Vallinotti celebrated after Snowden's two-point conversion run put the Eagles ahead for good, 33-32, in the team's win over North County.
  • Deshawn Joyner (4), Billy Driscoll (50) and Matt Doyle (42) ran off the field in celebration after Jarren Terry (34) recovered a fumble caused by teammate Bennett Diaz that iced the Eagles' 33-32 win over North County.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Deshawn Joyner (4), Billy Driscoll (50) and Matt Doyle (42) ran off the field in celebration after Jarren Terry (34) recovered a fumble caused by teammate Bennett Diaz that iced the Eagles' 33-32 win over North County.
  • Dalton Milliken's eye-black strip read
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Dalton Milliken's eye-black strip read "RiP" in tribute to offensive line coach Rick Potter, who died this summer. "We dug deep,” said Milliken. “We played for coach Potter and pulled it through.”

Eagles Pull Out 33-32 Victory Over Knights

Colin Murphy
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September 16, 2017

Northeast football fans have seen scenarios like what almost unfolded at North County High School on Friday night: the Eagles will play pretty well, appear to be in line for a victory, encounter some adversity, fight hard to salvage the game and eventually fold in a narrow loss.

Just not this time. On Friday night, Northeast set a new course.

Marcus Streeb’s second touchdown run of the game and Demontay Snowden’s two-point conversion run in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter helped push the Eagles to a wild 33-32 victory over the Knights and stamp a seal of validity on a program that had long craved a hard-earned victory.

“We just never gave up,” said senior offensive lineman Dalton Milliken.

“It’s great,” said quarterback Anthony Vallinotti. “It’s a change in the program. It’s a different mindset this year.”

Said Northeast head coach Brian Baublitz, “Our program needed a win like this. When I got here last year, they would get down 14 points or early, and they’d be done, they’d feel like the game is over. We kept preaching to them, it takes 48 minutes to declare a winner.”

The Eagles needed every second of that 48 minutes on Friday. The night started with a bang, as Davon Carroll ran the game’s opening kickoff approximately 65 yards for a touchdown:

Video by Colin Murphy via Pasadena Voice Sports

The extra point failed, and Northeast led 6-0 just seconds into the game.

Northeast stopped North County for a turnover on downs, getting a sack from Matt Wukitch and a great fourth-down tackle by Tyler Czyz.

The Eagles marched the other way, getting a big 16-yard gain on third-and-15 by Snowden and a bruising touchdown score by Streeb, who crashed through literally three North County tacklers and dragged another into the end zone with him to make it 12-0 Northeast.

Snowden picked up another pair of big first downs in the second quarter, including a 25-yard gain that got the Eagles down to the Knights’ 32-yard line. From there, Vallinotti broke free for a 32-yard keeper up the middle to make it 18-0.

The Eagles runners were sprung loose all night by the blocking of offensive linemen Milliken, Wukitch, Brandon Choinski, Aiden Barnhardt and Grayson Beikert. Snowden finished the game with 113 yards on 17 carries.

“The offensive line stress on me all the time, ‘Demontay, keep your head up, we got you,'” said Snowden. “I just followed the blocks and run hard.”

The Knights put together a scoring drive capped by a short Chris Leslie touchdown run to make it 18-6 after the failed extra point, but Carroll immediately got back to his tricks. The senior speed demon—who is the state track and field champion in the outdoor 200-meters and the state runner-up in the 100-meter dash—took the ensuing kick 70 yards up the middle, breaking a pair of tackles at midfield, for his second kick-return touchdown of the game and a 25-6 Northeast lead.

The understated Carroll credited his blockers and said flatly after the game, “I seen the hole, and I took it. It opened up.”

Trailing by three touchdowns, North County did not go down quietly. Knights quarterback Tez Parker repeatedly flashed his athleticism with scampers, and he broke loose for a 19-yard touchdown run on North County’s ensuing possession, making it 25-14 after a two-point conversion.

Vallinotti was subsequently intercepted by North County’s Tia Rice on a miscommunication with the intended receiver, Carroll, and the Knights capitalized just before halftime when Parker hit Jasir Johnson over the middle for a six-yard score. Deshawn Joyner broke up the Knights’ two-point try, and the Eagles led 25-20 at halftime.

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In the third quarter, Parker immediately picked up where he had left off, hitting Anaiah Booth in stride on the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown. The two-point try was batted down by Northeast, who suddenly trailed 26-25.

After a long scoreless spell by both teams, Parker again showed dynamic elusiveness on a 20-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter.

Said Baublitz of Parker’s running ability, “He is so athletic. We had him pinned in so many times tonight, and he just escaped.”

Vallinotti, who also plays safety, intercepted Parker’s two-point conversion, critically keeping North County’s lead to one score at 32-25 with 7:07 to play.

Amazingly, Carroll took the ensuing kickoff to the house once again, but the play was called back for holding. The Eagles nonetheless started at their own 29-yard line and got help from North County penalties and gains from Snowden to set up Streeb for a two-yard rushing score to pull to within 31-32 with 2:25 to play.

That’s when Baublitz pushed all his chips in, deciding to go for two points to take what would surely be a decisive lead.

“I told coach [Brian] Propst as soon as we got the ball to start thinking about a two-point conversion play, because we were going for the win,” said Baublitz.

Snowden took the ball on a sweep right and got into the end zone for a 33-32 Northeast lead.

On the ensuing Knights possession, Parker again tried to make something out of nothing on a near sack, but Northeast defensive back Bennett Diaz stripped the ball away, and the fumble was recovered by Jarren Terry.

Snowden got gains of nine and 10 yards to get two Northeast first downs, and the Eagles took a knee twice to end the game.

Players and coaches both spoke of how much conditioning work the Eagles did in the offseason to help them prepare for a game like this, in which every second and every down mattered to earn the win.

“It started in the offseason,” said Snowden. “We pushed ourselves to be great.”

Said Baublitz, whose Eagles now have two wins over Maryland 4A teams going into next week’s matchup at Cape Henlopen (Delaware), “You never know if you’re going to win or lose, but I could tell they were fighting to the end. But it’s a lot better to get that W at the end.”

Much of the Eagles’ postgame revelry took the form of a tribute to Rick Potter, the team’s offensive line coach who passed away at the age of 53 this summer. Many of the players wore shirts and patches with “RiP” written to commemorate Coach Potter, and both players and coaches spoke of Coach Potter in postgame congratulations to each other.

“He was a leader for us,” said Vallinotti of Potter. “He was a leader for our offensive line and for our team. We play for him. This season is for him. Everything we do and accomplish is for Coach Potter.”

Milliken, an offensive lineman, was emotional in describing how much it meant for his team and offensive line group to battle back from a late deficit and pull out a victory.

“We had some adversity in the beginning and they were starting to out-power us, but we dug deep,” said Milliken. “We played for coach Potter and pulled it through.”

 

Game Notes:

Terry led the Eagles with six solo tackles, while Vallinotti, Czyz and Matt Doyle each had five solo tackles and Joyner, Jan Michael Finch, Brady Dellanoce and Josh Krcik each had two solo tackles.

Streeb rushed for 49 yards on 12 carries. Vallinotti totaled 74 yards on the ground. 


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