Despite a fourth-quarter surge by Northeast Lauderdale, Southeast Lauderdale scored the winning touchdown in the final 12 minutes to edge the Trojans 20-18 in Friday night prep football action.
The Tigers took a 13-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Trojans scored 12 points in the frame to take an 18-13 lead before Southeast scored the winning touchdown.
“The negatives were that we had too many penalties and some errors here and there that could have cost us,” Tigers coach Calvin Hampton said. “The positives were that the boys fought and believed in each other, and I felt the energy on the sidelines of things coming together. There was a time Northeast went on top, and last year we probably would have gone in the tank and said, ‘Here we go again,’ but they fought back and refused to go down. That’s what you want to see early in the season.”
Southeast out-gained Northeast 259-161 in total yards, with the Tigers rushing for 186 yards and the Trojans tallying 114 yards on the ground. Both teams lost two fumbles, and the Tigers were penalized 12 times while the Trojans were flagged eight times.
Northeast quarterback Ben Carpenter had a touchdown pass, and Deondray Harris led the Trojans defensively with five tackles, while Lorne Boyd Jr. finished with three tackles and two tackles for loss.
Southeast didn’t get a win until Week 5 last year, and Hampton said winning your first game goes a long way toward building momentum.
“We were 0-4 last season (to start out), and I would rather be 1-0 than 0-1,” Hampton said. “When it comes down to it, it goes down as a W or an L. It may be sloppy and ugly, but it’s a W, and we’ll build on this.”
Southeast (1-0) will host Newton County (1-0) next Friday, while Northeast (0-1) will play at Jackson Academy (1-2). Newton County beat Morton 32-12 to open its season.
WEST LAUDERDALE 49, SOUTH JONES 28
Running back Ja’Karius Grant had two rushing touchdowns and 130 yards as West Lauderdale opened the season with a 49-28 win over South Jones.
Quarterback Jackson Parker added 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and he also threw for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Brett Busbea tallied 10 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown for the Knights, and Dalton Bishop had a 20-yard touchdown reception.
West Lauderdale finished with 159 yards passing and 277 yards rushing for 436 total yards, and the Knights’ defense limited South Jones to just 75 rushing yards and 350 total yards. Dylan Brown finished with four tackles and an assist for the Knights, and Jayden Kirkland had four tackles and three assists, while Dillon Williamson had three tackles, nine assists and half a sack. Jordan Gowdy tallied three tackles, two assists and a sack.
The Knights (1-0) play at Neshoba Central (1-0) next week. The Rockets opened the season with a 25-17 win against Tupelo Friday.
RUSSELL CHRISTIAN 33, NORTH RIVER 0
Facing North River Christian (Northport, Alabama) for the second time in three weeks, Russell Christian Academy this time pitched a shutout as the Warriors came away with the win in their first road game of the season.
Destin Lea had 137 yards rushing and three touchdowns to lead RCA, and quarterback Micah Taylor was 15-for-21 in passing with 144 yards and a touchdown. Mason Easterwood caught seven passes for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, the Warriors’ John Benn Jones had 10 tackles, while Johnny Wilson and Isaac Watson tallied four tackles each.
RCA opened with North River Christian at home Aug. 21, winning that game 37-15.
The Warriors improved to 2-1 on the year.
•St. Patrick 33, Clarkdale 14
•Leake Academy 26, Lamar 25
•Enterprise 51, Stringer 0
•Kemper County 33, West Lowndes 14
•Newton County 32, Morton 13
•Prentiss Christian 26, Kemper Academy 20
•Union 51, McAdams 8
•Leake Central 21, Philadelphia 10
•Neshoba Central 25, Tupelo 17
•Nanih Waiya 29, Choctaw Central 13 (Thursday, Sept. 3)
•Newton County Academy vs. Oak Hill Academy, canceled