Northern Nash's Quon Whitaker runs the ball Thursday during the game against Elizabeth City Northeastern at Northern Nash High School.
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Telegram photo / Alan Campbell

Northern Nash's Quon Whitaker runs the ball Thursday during the game against Elizabeth City Northeastern at Northern Nash High School.

Northern Nash can't rally against Northeastern

By Andrew Ivins

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Chalk it up as a lesson.
 
Northern Nash can’t always play from behind. 
 
A week after the Knights used a fourth-quarter rally to open the season with a win, Northern Nash wasn’t able to overcome an early deficit on Thursday. 
 
The Knights were outmatched, overwhelmed and outplayed in the opening minutes of a 48-20 loss to Elizabeth City Northeastern. 
Northeastern scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, while the Knights struggled to gain positive yardage. Northern Nash botched the snap on a punt, then fumbled inside its own 5-yard line  on the next possession. 
 
“The whole gameplan was to try and keep it tight and weather the storm early,” Northern Nash coach Randy Raper said. “But the execution on the punt is what snowballed it all, and it went downhill from there.”
 
Jamel Foster broke a scoreless tie with a 10-yard touchdown run before a 62-yard pass from Devonte Rountree to Tivis Vaughn gave the Eagles a 21-0 lead. 
 
Northern Nash (1-1) responded with a 40-yard touchdown run from Quon Whitaker late in the first quarter, but the damage was already done. Northeastern (2-0) added another touchdown minutes later on a 4-yard run by William Simpson and were able to hold off the Knights’ comeback efforts for the remainder of the game. 
 
Knights quarterback Jacob Green was sacked four times and finished with just 43 yards passing. His efforts, combined with a defense that struggled to contain the dynamic duo of Rountree and Gedari Liverman, proved to be fatal. 
 
Liverman totaled 161 yards of offense while playing almost every skill position on offense.He tossed a third-quarter touchdown to Simpson on a play-action pass, then dashed 51 yards late in the forth quarter to effectively put the game out of reach.  He added a 65-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter as well. 
 
“(Liverman) was the best athlete on the field tonight,” Raper said. “We just did not have the athleticism to deal with him at all times.”
 
Whitaker was the lone bright spot for the Knights on offense, running for 85 yards on 12 carriers. His first-quarter touchdown brought life to what was a mute Northern Nash sidelines, but the  momentum was short lived. The Knights were never able to fully put themselves in the contest after the opening whistle. 
 
Raper attested that to his team’s attitude before the game even kicked off. 
 
“Coming off a big win where we fought hard and really played hard ... I saw it all day long. Just a little lackadaisical attitude. 
 
“If you’re going to get one like this, you want to get it early. We got it out of the way. Hopefully we will do better from here on out,” Raper said. 
 
E.C. Northeastern 48
Northern Nash 20
NE      21    7 7 13 48
NN      7     6 0 7 20
First Quarter
NE – Jamel Foster 10 run (Swayne kick), 9:05
NE – William Simpson 1 run (Swayne kick), 6:22
NE – Tivis Vaughan 62 pass from Devonte Rountree (Swayne kick), 4:04
NN – Quan Whitaker 40 run (Corbin kick), :25.4
Second Quarter
NE – William Simpson 4 run (kick faild), 9:35
NN – Jamayis Roser 3 run (run failed), 2:12
Third Quarter
NE – William Simpson 16 pass from Gedari Liverman (Swayne kick), 2:59
Fourth Quarter
NE – Jamel Foster 1 run (kick fail), 9:16
NN – Decarlos Rosser 2 run (Corbin kick), 3:21
NE – Clarence Jones 5 run (Swayne kick), 2:21 
NENN
17 First downs..............11
27–268 Rushes-yards.36–155
181 Passing yards.......43
8–13–1 Passes................5–8–0
449 Total offense.........198
2–2 Fumbles-Lost........0–0
5–30 Penalties-Yards....8–57
Individual Statistics
Rushing – NE: Jamel Foster 9 – 128; Gedari Liverman 4 – 68; Devonte Rountree 3 – 25; Clarence Jones 5 – 21; William Simpson 3 – 12. NN: Quan Whitaker 12 – 85; Latrell Pulley 6 – 53; Travon Clarke 4 – 14; Jamayis Rosser 7 – 8; Jacob Green 6 – 0; Tyler Polensky 1 – (-5). 
Passing – NE: Devonte Rountree 7-9-1, 170; Gedari Liverman 1-4-1, 16. NN: Jacob Green 5-8-0, 43
Receiving – NE: Gedari Liverman 3 – 77; Tivis Vaughan 2 – 62; Tyliek Overton 1 – 10; William Simpson 1 –10. NN: Chad Haggerty 2 – 29; Quan Whitaker 2 – 9; Clayshawn Baker 1 – 8. 
 
Andrew Ivins can be reached at 407-9951 or aivins@rmtelegram.com