CLINTON — Northeast High captured its second victory over East Feliciana in the past four weeks, riding a critical 2-point conversion run to a 14-12 win in the quarterfinal round of the LHSAA Class 2A playoffs on Friday night.
The Vikings’ two touchdowns came after two takeaways by their defense which also managed to stop two attempted 2-point PAT runs by the Tigers.
“We’ve won all year with our defense,” Northeast coach David Masterson said. “We told them on the sideline during the third quarter, ‘We want our defense on the field at the end of the game.’
“This was a battle between two evenly-matched team. The first game we won 16-14. This one was 14-12. We just feel very fortunate tonight.
Quarterback Marqueon Minor wears No. 1 and he turned in a first-rate performance for his team. He rushed for 71 yards and passed for 59 more, including one touchdown pass. On defense he intercepted a pass in the end zone on the last play of the first half.
Minor also handled the punting duties for the Northeast (10-2), twice pinning the Tigers inside their 10-yard line in the second half. His final punt of the night was fumbled by Christopher Chaney on a fair catch attempt, and the Vikings recovered and ran out the last 1:32 of the game.
“I’m thankful to God and thankful for my team,” Minor said. “I just had to man-up tonight.
Our team had more men on it tonight and that was the difference.”
The first half wasn’t what might be expected from teams who’ve advanced three rounds in the playoffs. The teams were flagged for a total of 125 yards of penalties, both fumbled on their first possession, and most of the action took place between the 30-yard lines.
East Feliciana (9-4) fumbled the ball away on its first play from scrimmage on its own 26, and Northeast tallied the first score on a 9-yard pass from Marqueon Minor to Jarman Bradford.
The Tigers answered with the only big play of the first half, a 47-yard pass from Kavon Moore to a closely covered Timothy Thompson who broke free just in time to haul in a perfectly thrown ball.
Neither team could convert its try for a 2-point conversion and the game was deadlocked 6-6 at halftime.
The second half scoring mirrored the first. Northeast intercepted EFHS quarterback Kaven Moore for the second time and need to drive only 34 yards for their next score. Dominic Yates carried the last four yards for the touchdown after 5-foot-6, 245 pound running back CJ Robinson picked up 20 yards on four carries during the drive.
Moore threw a 3-yard pass to Tyquincey Kilbourne for the Tigers’ final score, but once again they were unable to run in the PAT.
“I told (Advocate reporter) Robin Fambrough earlier this week that we couldn’t turn the ball over in this game, but that’s just what we did,” EFHS coach Cedric Anderson said. “(Northeast) capitalized on every turnover made, and that was the ball game.”
Chaney led East Feliciana with 63 yards rushing, while Tyriece Flowers added 53. Moore threw for 142 yards before leaving the game with a leg injury on the touchdown pass play to Kilbourne.
Northeast now moves on to play Many in a semifinal game.