Northeast is off to its best start in a decade and defense is a big reason for the team’s 6-0 start.
The Vikings forced five turnovers and held Capitol Charter to just five first downs and 117 yards of offense en route to a 28-13 victory over the Lions at Memorial Stadium on Friday night.
Northeast’s K.J. Robinson rushed for two touchdowns and recovered a Capitol fumble, and Jarman Bradford caught an 8-yard touchdown pass and set up another score with a 53-yard punt return.
Northeast improved to 2-0 in District 6-2A. The Vikings had held their previous four foes to just 13 total points.
“The defense has played great all year,” Northeast coach David Masterson said. “Offensive mistakes led to Capitol’s scores. We were a little rusty in the first half from our bye last week.”
Capitol (2-5, 1-1) scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes of the first half to cut Northeast’s led to 14-13.
Capitol’s Devin Joseph scored on a 27-yard pass from Kelvin Robinson Jr. with 2:30 remaining. Northeast quarterback Marqueon Minor fumbled to set up that one-play drive.
Minor tossed an interception on the last play of the first half. Capitol’s Joseph ran 85 yards for a TD along the right sideline.
As a safety, Minor had two interceptions. Minor also rushed 19 times for 67 yards and completed 10 of 20 passes for 104 yards.
“Marqueon Minor is one tough football player,” Masterson said. “Jarman Bradford has really stepped up his game too and is a playmaker for us.”
Northeast’s Robinson scored on a 4-yard run on the last play of the third quarter to put his team up 20-13. That capped a six-play, 36-yard drive.
On the next play from scrimmage, Capitol’s Robinson tossed an interception, his third, to set up the final score. Northeast’s Dominic Yates had the interception and rambled 20 yards to the Capitol 20. Minor had four runs in the drive. He scored on a 2-yard run and also ran for the two-point conversion.
Capitol got the ball back two more times. Both series ended with interceptions. The Lions played without their regular quarterback and Robinson, who normally plays running back, made his first start at quarterback.
“Our receivers weren’t running the routes right,” Capitol coach Johnny Duncan said. “I couldn’t get a drive going with my offense to keep the defense off the field. We’re not disciplined. This was a very disappointing game.”
Northeast had a 10-play, 69-yard drive in the second quarter. Minor passed 34 yards to Ramon Parker to keep the driving going. Bradford scored on an 8-yard screen pass to the right flats.
Bradford’s 53-yard punt return to the Capitol 1 yard line set up a two-play drive. Robinson scored on a 1-yard run with 2:03 left in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead.
Rae‘Quan Powell had a second-quarter interception and Chris Duhan recovered a fumble for Capitol.