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Northeast outlasts West Lauderdale

By Staff
GOING UP THE MIDDLE n Northeast Lauderdale's Stephen Dyess squeezes in for a score against West Lauderdale Friday in prep football action. Northeast won the game, 44-37. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 15, 2001
In a game that lasted three-plus hours and had 81 points scored, it was a play by the Northeast Lauderdale defense that finally settled the cross-county feud here at the Trojan Field before a capacity crowd on Friday night.
Defensive end Marcus Brown sacked West Lauderdale's C. Jay Fountain for a 10-yard loss on a fourth down on the Trojan 12 with four seconds left. The play preserved Northeast's 44-37 win over the Knights.
The bitterly fought contest handed the victors a 3-0 record. West Lauderdale falls to 2-1.
Fans from both schools will be talking about this game for some time. So will the coaches.
Stevens was just elated that he had enough players to finish the game out.
Northeast was able to overcome a 27-17 deficit by scoring 20 straight points to go up 37-27. The run was capped when Eric Boyd fell on a loose ball in the endzone for a Trojan touchdown. The score was set up when punter Steven Dyess pinned the Knights inside their own five with a 35-yard punt.
West Lauderdale pulled back to within seven when Will Moseley booted a 26-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter. The kick was Moseley's third successful field goal of the game.
The Knight defense clamped down on the Trojans offense forcing a punt. A heavy rush sent Dyess past the initial wave of defenders. After avoiding another tackle about 10 yards down, he soon found clear sailing.
Dyess' 63-yard touchdown dash was followed by Jay Jacobs' PAT kick to put the Knights up 44-30 with 9:35 to play.
The Trojan defense then intercepted a Fountain pass at midfield just 17 seconds later.
Northeast killed off three minutes and reached the Knight 25 before a fumble was lost and recovered by the Knights at the 13.
Fountain, who had passed for 244 yards in the first half, saw a more Trojan determined pass rush in the second half. He was consistently hurried and the result was two incompletes and a short scramble to force fourth down.
Instead of punting, McCain used another trick, another fake punt. This time, Danny Siefker took off on a fumble-rooskie for a 64-yard run. Three plays later, Fountain darted in from the three for the score. Moseley's kick made it 44-37 with 4:35 to play.
After forcing a Trojan punt, West started its final drive at mid-field with 2:11 to play. Standout tailback Carleesio Blanks hit for 34 yards. The Knights then powered their way to the two.
But on third down, Blanks was dropped for a seven-yard loss. On fourth down, Fountain hit Van Wilson for the apparent tying touchdown. The play, however, was called back for offensive holding. A pass interference on the next play, though, gave the Knights four new downs at the 12.
Fountain threw three straight incompletions. The first was the closest as the throw to Wilson was a bit too long.
The offensive fireworks began early with two touchdowns in the first two minutes. Fountain hit Tommy Hodges on a 19-yard TD pass.
Northeast answered when Calvin Scott ran the kickoff back 95 yards for the touchdown.
Moseley then hit the first of three field goals by drilling a 26-yard kick with 1:35 left in the quarter for a 10-7 lead.
Northeast came back with Dyess scoring on an 11-yard option run. Jacobs' kick made it 14-10 with 13 seconds left in the quarter.
Blanks put the Knights back ahead on a five-yard run just 1:49 later. Moseley's PAT made it 17-14.
A fumbled punt allowed the Knights to take over at the 46. They marched 54 yards in five plays. Fountain hit Eric Smith on a 10-yard pass to put the Knights up 24-14 following the kick.
Jacobs came back with a 34-yard field goal to pull the Trojans back to seven at 24-17. Moseley countered hitting a 46-yard field goal with 3:46 left in the half to put West back ahead by 10 at 27-17.
The final score of the half came on Dyess' one-yard run with 49.5 seconds left in the half.
The Trojans opened the second half with a 59-yard march capped by Kevin Horne's seven-yard TD run. Jacobs' made it 31-27 with 10:53 left in the third.
Northeast finished with 314 yards rushing. Marcus Betts had 96 on 15 carries. Dyess had 83 and three TDs. Horne had 81.
Fountain was 14 of 30 for 258 yards. Blanks had 168 yards on 25 carries.