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  • Quarterback Riley Pitt handed off to running back Demontay Snowden during the Eagles' 40-13 win over Southern. Northeast amassed 479 yards of total offense in the dominant victory.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Quarterback Riley Pitt handed off to running back Demontay Snowden during the Eagles' 40-13 win over Southern. Northeast amassed 479 yards of total offense in the dominant victory.

Northeast Rolls Past Southern, 40-13

Colin Murphy
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October 14, 2017

It was only minutes into the first quarter, but Northeast football coached Brian Baublitz implored his Eagles to not look at the scoreboard at any point for the rest of the night.

The way the Eagles played, the Bulldogs didn’t want to look at the scoreboard either.

Northeast exploded for 479 yards of total offense, getting 233 rushing yards and five total touchdowns from senior Demontay Snowden in an emphatic 40-13 victory over host Southern on October 13.

Freshman quarterback Riley Pitt completed six passes for 26 yards and a touchdown and carried the ball 15 times for 57 yards in his first varsity start.

Kenny Miller rushed for 65 yards on six carries, and Marcus Streeb scored a 12-yard touchdown and rushed for 30 yards on seven carries as Northeast improved to 3-4 overall.

PHOTO GALLERY: Northeast football vs. Southern, 10.13.17

Knowing the topsy-turvy nature of football in the county this season and the fact that so many games have seen wild swings in momentum, Baublitz said Northeast needed to focus playing their game and finishing strong.

“That’s what we stressed to them. Look, we’re up by 20, but you know how quickly these games can change,” he said. “It’s part of the learning process. Winning and knowing how to win and finish teams off is all part of the process of becoming a quality football team and consistent football team.”

A week after a tough 18-15 homecoming loss to Annapolis, the quality was there against the Bulldogs. Northeast took the opening kickoff and marched downfield on its first drive, capped by a 7-yard run into the end zone by Snowden. Pitt kept on a 2-point try, and the Eagles led 8-0.

After a strong defensive stand—which was also a theme for the Eagles throughout the night—Snowden got another chance and burst outside for a 56-yard touchdown up the right sideline:

Video by Colin Murphy

The Eagles made it 20-0 as the first quarter came to a close when Pitt rolled out to the right and hit Snowden in stride for a 4-yard touchdown pass.

Just a freshman, Pitt was making his first start on varsity in place of senior Anthony Vallinotti. Vallinotti had been effective as quarterback so far this season but is also the team’s starting safety, and Baublitz said a he needed him fresh on defense and has an emerging young talent in Pitt.

“The way Riley performed tonight, he really led this team like a seasoned veteran,” said Baublitz. “I was very impressed.”

Vallinotti, who was commended by the coaches for graciously ceding the role to Pitt in the interest of the team, was equally praiseworthy of his precocious replacement.

“Riley has a lot of talent as a freshman quarterback, the best freshman quarterback I’ve ever seen,” said Vallinotti. “We decided to come out and give him a chance at varsity, and he showed out today, had a great day.”

Pitt had the week to prepare and was glad to calm his nerves with a strong performance.

“They told me on Monday, and I was kinda freaked out, but I was excited at the same time,” said Pitt. “It was really fun. The blocking was great. I just had some nice passes and saw some green.”

The blocking of linemen Dalton Milliken, Matt Wukitch, Brandon Choinski, Aiden Barnhardt and Grayson Beikert and tight end Devan Ferrara continued throughout the evening, with the Eagles taking full advantage. In the second quarter, a 41-yard run by Miller, a 16-yard completion from Pitt to Brady Dellanoce and a 9-yard run by Miller set up a 12-yard touchdown by Streeb, who crashed through multiple tacklers to make it 26-0.

On Southern’s next drive, a near interception by Northeast resulted in a tipped ball and a circus catch by the Bulldogs’ Colin Phipps, who bobbled and then hauled in a deep throw by quarterback Austin Buiniskis for a 49-yard touchdown to make it 26-6.

After halftime, Snowden got right back to his monster game, taking a handoff from Pitt and blazing 77 yards for a 32-6 lead.

After a sack by Bennett Diaz and an interception by Vallinotti, Snowden got another hole to run through and scorched 48 yards for his fifth trip to the end zone and a 40-6 Northeast lead.

Though Southern’s Ryley Odell ran back the ensuing kickoff to make it 40-13, Pitt, Jayden Mason and Ian McCullers stacked up carries and first downs as Northeast ate up most of the fourth quarter clock to close out the win.

Snowden, who amassed 233 yards on just 12 carries, said the linemen had the offense churning.

“I just see the hole they’re opening up that my offensive line is giving me,” he said. “The coaches press on me to run north-south, don’t try to do too much, and I just listen to them, and it was there.”

Vallinotti noted the defensive performance of surrendering only one touchdown with assistant coach Terrell Johnson calling the plays defensively.

“We played extremely well,” Vallinotti said. “Our linemen did a great job clogging the holes, grabbing the offensive linemen so us linebackers could shoot the gaps and make plays.”

The task for Northeast now is to carry momentum forward. The team hosts Severna Park next Friday, and the coaches and administration cannot find record of an Eagle victory over Severna Park in the program’s 51-year history.

With a playoff spot still possible, the Eagles need to keep pace with a win to set up a possible win-and-you’re-in scenario with Chesapeake (4-3) in the Week 10 ‘Dena Bowl.

Snowden believes the Eagles haven’t reached their ceiling yet.

“[This win] puts us as a high level of confidence,” he said. “We come out every day and want to be 1-0 every week. We push each other every day at practice. We know we’re a successful team. We push each other every day and put it in our minds that we’re better than who we’re going to play, and we come out and perform.”

Game Notes

Bennett Diaz (six tackles, one sack), Jarren Terry (five tackles), Tyler Czyz (three tackles), Brandon Choinski (three tackles), Davon Carroll (two tackles), Christin Torres (two tackles), Jan Michael Finch (two tackles), Ian McCullers (two tackles), Matt Doyle (one sack); and Noah Brown, Devan Ferrara, Aiden Barnhart and Steven Haley (one tackle each) highlighted the Eagles’ performance defensively.

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