I don’t think anyone outside of Camden players and coaches believed the football Bruins could beat mighty Northeastern on Friday night.
That doesn’t mean, however, it was expected to turn into one of many NHS blowouts in this series. By the second quarter, a mixture of short fields and a few turnovers gave the Eagles plenty of momentum, as they rolled 67-7.
First of all, this does NOT mean Camden is overrated. The 1A Bruins were simply overmatched. Heck, the way the Eagles are playing now, many 2As are overmatched (and some 3As, like Northern Nash).
Like coach Chris McGee said, it’s a good dose of humility after a three-game non-conference stretch of Northeastern Coastal Conference clubs, where they won two (Pasquotank and Currituck). There were still bright spots, such as Trevor Carr’s 70-yard TD run and an interception by Will Bunton. I’m excited for Plymouth-Camden in a few weeks since it will decide the Coastal 10.
What separates Northeastern’s annual early dominance — complete with 150-0 style victories — from the others is its unexpected depth from the freshman and sophomore ranks. Malik Combs, William Walker, Traveon Freshwater and Darius Walton to name a few. It’s been a relief after losses to backs such as Jaubarie Brooks and Jamel Foster. Because Northeastern needed added depth, right? Right?
Walton, in his first time on varsity, made two TD grabs and ran a kickoff 85 yards for a score. Malik Combs scored against Nash and recovered a fumble at Camden.
Then there’s the upperclassmen such as senior Devonte Rountree, who threw six touchdown passes on just nine completions Friday, but the bigger story for me is the offensive line. Almost all of them have returned from last season, and guys like Nick Golden, Reggie Lewis-Cole and Dorontae Riddick are leaving HUGE holes for Rountree and the backs.
If Northeastern is in the 2AA playoffs again, then it will have some challengers in the East, but the Eagles would be favored still against SouthWest Edgecombe and Jacksonville Northside. The 2A postseason ranks look to be much tougher with Clinton alone.
Until then, the remaining non-conference slate becomes a tad bit tougher. This Friday 3A Wilson Hunt comes to Elizabeth City and the following week it’s Virginia school Lake Taylor, the defending 4A state champion with a wealth of Division I talent.