By Sarah Moomaw / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
The Northeast Lauderdale Trojans grabbed their first win of the season, taking down Southeast Lauderdale, 37-21, on the road Friday night.
Unfortunately, it came with a cost.
Trojan running back Stevie Sanders went down the a knee injury halfway through the second quarter.
"It hurts because he's been our work horse the first two [games,]" Northeast head coach Curt Blackburn said. "That's one place we did have some depth."
Sanders left the game and did not return, but had already left his mark. The senior rushed for 76 yards for two touchdowns.
If an injury can have an upside, the Trojans' bench filled in and made Sanders' lack of presence virtually unknown as three different scorers would find the end zone to stretch the score for the win. Blackburn said that was all thanks to the Trojans' offensive line.
"They did a great job tonight," he said. "[Overall,] we moved the ball and took advantage of our opportunities for one, and we only had one turnover."
Sanders first score came with 10:02 left in the first half. Northeast recovered a kickoff fumble by Southeast at the 8-yard line. On their fifth snap of the game, the Trojans took a 7-0 lead at the feet of Sanders, running in for the touchdown.
The Trojan defense recorded a safety to open the second quarter before Sanders punched a final touchdown from the 1-yard line with 7:16 left in the half.
"They made plays and we didn't," Southeast coach Charles Black said.
Southeast fought back and retaliated with a score of their own 58 seconds later. Takari Brooks threw a 37-yard pass to Damion Willis, who ran it into the end zone for a 71-yard touchdown to make it 16-7, which held for the half time score.
To open the third quarter, the Trojans were their own worst enemy, racking up penalty yardage in similar fashion to the week prior's loss at West Lauderdale.
"We made our fair share of mistakes," Blackburn said. "We have a lot of cleaning up to do."
With a first down on Southeast's 47-yard line, the Trojans were charged with two personal fouls for 30 yards.
Neither team could turn the yardage into a some sort of gain.
One the Trojans next position Willie Campbell stepped up, and cut straight through the pack for an 8-yard touchdown run with 3:18 left the quarter, putting them up 23-7.
"He's a sophomore, he stepped up and did a real good job for us," Blackburn said.
Kendarious Naylor added another 8-yard scoring run, before quarterback Troy Neely and Hayden Lee connected for a 35-yard pass into the end zone for the Trojans final score of the night, 37-15.
With 7:27 left in the fourth quarter, Southeast's Brooks and Willis connected for another pass-and-run 67-yard touchdown.
The Trojans moved to 1-2 on the season and will host Neshoba Central for their home opener in Week 4. Southeast drops to 1-2 and will square up with the visiting Clarkdale Bulldogs next Friday night.