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A report on No. 9 Northeast Guilford's 35-21 win over No. 4 Northern Guilford:
Bill Bookout Stadium, Northeast Guilford
Why the Rams won
Trevon Hester’s speed and quickness was too much for the Northern defense. The Rams defense, meanwhile, made it hard on Will Lenard, forcing the Nighthawks QB to scramble out of the pocket regularly.
Why the Nighthawks lost
Northern was unable to move the ball on the ground, and with the exception of the Lenard-to-Michael Frogge connection, the air game couldn’t produce consistently. The defense held strong for the first half but wore down late.
Northern Guilford: Frogge caught two touchdown passes and was on the end of a 39-yard pass play from Lenard. He almost had a third TD catch with 3:56 to play in the fourth quarter but was ruled out of bounds in the end zone.
Northeast Guilford: If the Rams were able to get the ball near the Nighthawks goal line, they could count on Hester to get it into the end zone. Hester, a 6-foot, 205-pound sophomore, had TD runs of 6, 7 and 20 yards. He reached the 100-yard plateau in the third quarter.
The big plays
The Nighthawks escaped an early disaster after the Rams’ Keondre Mabin recovered a fumble on the Northern 14-yard line. But the Nighthawks defense held, and the Rams turned it over on downs.
In the final minute of the first half, Lenard connected with Frogge, who is 6 feet 5, on a 39-yarder that brought Northern to the Rams 11. Lenard then found Frogge in the corner of the end zone two plays later for the touchdown. Garrett Palmer’s extra-point tied the score 7-7.
The Rams’ Kobie Perez took the second half kickoff 70 yards to the Northern 20-yard line, and Hester ran it the rest of the way on the next play. The Rams faked the extra point attempt, and Jaymar Hall passed to Jaydon Hall for two points and the 15-7 Northeast lead.
Perez capped off the win with an 85-yard touchdown run with 2:52 left
Three things we learned
1. Northeast’s offensive line is no longer a secret. “They are the most under-rated part of our team,” says Rams coach Earl Bates. “They did an outstanding job tonight and I think they’ve been outstanding all season.”
2. The Rams might fake an extra point from time to time. Twice Northeast faked the extra point. Holder Jaymar Hall kept the ball and threw to Jaydon Hall in the end zone.
3. The Nighthawks passing game is dangerous. Even on a night when little was going their way, Will Lenard’s mobility still gives the Nighthawks hope.
What they’re saying
“We’ve had some internal stuff within the team, and the challenge tonight was to play as a unit and not beat ourselves.” – Northeast coach Earl Bates.
“My offensive line is great. They do everything for me. If it wasn’t for them, I couldn’t do what I do.” – Rams running back Trevon Hester.
“We have a good team. We’re going somewhere.” – Hester
Northern Guilford: 1-1 Mid-State 3-A Conference, 4-2 overall