Clarksville, TN – Run the football and play solid defense.
It is a simple formula for success for the Northeast Eagles and on Friday night in playoff quarterfinal action at Gallatin, the Eagles used it again to overpower the Gallatin Green Wave 27-14.
Dontavious Merriweather and Montrell Pardue provided a potent one-two punch on the ground for the Eagles that the Green Wave could not contain.
The Eagles offense ground out a 21-6 lead after three quarters. However, fumbles in the fourth gave the Green Wave a chance to close the gap.
Northeast High School defeats Gallatin 27-14(Mateen Sidiq Clarksville Sports Network)
It took some big plays by the Eagles defense to stop the Green Waves late momentum and insure the win.
“It was really good when we needed it to. They forced us to cut it back a bunch,” Eagles head coach Isaac Shelby said about his teams running game. “Dontavious did a great job. He put it on the ground too many times, but hey, we are playing in the final four.”
Merriweather made 16 rushes for 157 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a 30-yard touchdown pass and made an interception.
Montrell Pardue rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown. He also completed 2 passes for 29 yards.
The Green Wave’s normally dangerous passing game was severely limited by the Eagles defense.
Quarterback Clay Carnes completed only 6 passes for 64 yards. Carnes was able to produce 37 yards rushing including a 3-yard touchdown run.
With their passing game limited, the Green Wave used a heavy dose of Eric Debow on the ground. Debow had 20 carries for 98 yards. Jordan Mason added 10 carries for 36 yards in the second half.
The Eagles scored first, on their second offensive drive. On the sixth play of the drive, Merriweather spun, juked and sprinted his way 42 yards to the end zone.
The Green Wave responded early in the second quarter. The marched 76 yards on seven plays. Carnes scrambled 3 yards on a quarterback keeper for the score. The Green Wave failed to convert the extra point, so they remained behind 7-6.
On the ensuing Eagles offensive drive it took them only four plays to extend their lead. Pardue dashed 14 yards for the Eagles second touchdown.
The Eagles went up 21-6 with just over 6 minutes left in the third quarter. Benji Burchwell was playing quarterback for the Eagles because Pardue had suffered a minor injury at the end of the first half.
On fourth down in Green Wave territory, Burchwell took the snap, then tossed the ball to Merriweather in the backfield. Next, Merriweather launched a 30-yard bomb to Marquez McCalpin in the end zone.
The Eagles maintained their comfortable lead until Merriweather fumbled the ball and the Green Wave recovered it in Eagles territory with 7 minutes left in the game.
Two plays later Debow punched the ball into the end zone from 9 yards out. A 2-point conversion brought the Green Wave within a touchdown, 21-14 with less than 7 minutes remaining.
Just pass the 2-minute mark. The Green wave had the ball and were facing fourth and 1 on their own 12-yard line. The Eagles defense made the stop and forced the Green Wave to turn the ball over on downs.
Two plays later Merriweather dove one yard for a touchdown, extending the Eagles lead to two scores with a little over one minute remaining.
The Green Waves last attempt to score was a long pass by Carnes that was intercepted by Merriweather.
“We worked really hard on it,” Shelby said about his defense. “The kids play hard. They know when big plays are coming and they just make them. The kids just did a great job.”
Next, the Eagles will face Henry County in the semifinals.
Eagles 7 7 7 6 – 27
Green Wave 0 6 0 8 – 14
About Marlon Scott
Marlon Scott is a freelance journalist and writer. He graduated from Austin Peay State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Communications, majoring in Communication Arts with a concentration in print and web journalism. His writing career began as a sports writer for The All State, the APSU student newspaper, in 2006. He continued working for the paper until his graduation, serving in various positions including Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief.
In 2010, Scott contributed stories and photographs as well as designed and served as Editor-in-Chief for the monograph, Civic Art of Clarksville: The stories behind the pieces.
Scott has also produced 60 stories for The Leaf Chronicle, the local newspaper of Clarksville, TN.
On twitter @theMarlonScott and on FB
SectionsFeatured Story, Football, Northeast
TopicsClarksville Northeast High, Clarksville Northeast High Eagles, Clay Carnes, Coach Isaac Shelby, Dontavious Fort-Merriweather, Eric Debow, Gallatin Green Wave, Gallatin Green Wave Football, Gallatin High, Gallatin High Green Wave, Gallatin High Green Wave Football, Gallatin High School, Montrell Pardue, Northeast, Northeast Eagles Football, Northeast High, Northeast High Eagles, Northeast Quarterback Montrell Pardue