Bethel can't sustain momentum in loss to Northeast
Bethel Christian Academy's Josh Sutton (7) runs behind the block of Zack Boyd during Friday's game against Northeast/Hobgood Academy. Photo by William 'Bud' Hardy / Neuse News
Bethel Christian Academy made a statement early, but Northeast/Hobgood Academy had an answer.
Buoyed by a strong ground game, the Eagles defeated the Trojans 58-34 Friday. J.T. and Josh Simmons ran for a combined 429 yards to pace Northeast (2-0), who fell behind by double digits early before taking over the contest.
Bethel (0-2) excelled in spurts throughout the game, but couldn’t sustain the effort in the team’s home opener.
“We’re a young football team and we made a lot of mistakes,” Trojans coach Brick Crowder said. “I was really proud of our defense in the second half (who) kept us in the football game when we couldn’t get (anything) going. Offensively, we figured a few things out in the fourth quarter but we’ve got a lot to clean up and we need to (work on it) in practice next week.”
Bethel Christian found the end zone on the game’s first play with Cody Dunk, running for a 60-yard touchdown before the Trojans recovered the ensuing onside kick. The Trojans took advantage, as Connor William’s 1-yard quarterback sneak put the team ahead 12-0.
Josh Simmons took the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to give the Eagles their first score before the Trojans countered with another Dunk touchdown run. Northeast finally got their first offensive possession late in the first and J.T. Simmons cashed in with a 4-yard touchdown.
Simmons’ touchdown was the start of 34 unanswered points for Northeast, as the Eagles took advantage of a pair of Bethel turnovers in the second, along with a turnover on downs with 8 seconds left in the first half. J.T. Simmons’ initial touchdown run was called back because of holding as time expired, but he was able to run it from 58 yards out on an untimed play to give the Eagles a 36-20 advantage heading into the break.
Neither team could move the ball in the third quarter before starting a flurry of five touchdowns in a span of 122 seconds. After Josh Simmons scored from 45 yards out with 5 minutes to play, Dunk took the ensuing kickoff for a score to bring Bethel within 42-26. The teams traded touchdown drives before Josh Simmons scored another long touchdown — this one from 52 yards — to effectively end it.
Crowder said the team learned plenty in their match with the defending NCISAA 1A state champions.
“We’ve got to work on being more physical and holding on to the football,” Crowder said. “We’ve just got to stay low coming out of the box on offense.”
Bethel Christian’s next game will be next Friday against Wilson Community Christian.
NORTHEAST 58, BETHEL CHRISTIAN 34
N 16 20 0 22 — 58
BCA 20 0 0 14 — 34
BCA — Cody Dunk 60 run (run failed), 11:49
BCA — Connor Williams 1 run (Josh Sutton run), 6:36
N — Josh Simmons 56 kickoff return (J.T. Simmons run), 6:25
BCA — Dunk 11 run (run failed), 2:01
N — J.T. Simmons 4 run (J.T. Simmons run), :14
N — J.T. Simmons 6 run (pass failed), 8:28
N — J.T. Simmons 51 run (J.T. Simmons run), 5:48
N — J.T. Simmons 58 run (run failed), 0:00
N — Josh Simmons 45 run (run failed), 5:00
BCA — Dunk 59 kickoff return (#6 run), 4:47
N — J.T. Simmons 54 run (#21 run), 4:21
BCA—Sutton 44 run (run failed), 3:10
N — Josh Simmons 52 run (J.T. Simmons run), 2:58
First Downs 14 17
Rushes 26-129 29-3
Passing 6-18-2 14-32-3
Passing Yards 200 169
Total Yards 329 172
Punts 0-0.0 1-37.0
Fumbles 2-1 6-2
Penalties 7-58 11-89
RUSHING — Northeast: J.T. Simmons 20-265, Josh Simmons 8-164, Zy Matthewson 2-8, Ryan Rowe 4-4. Bethel Christian: Cody Dunk 19-170, Josh Sutton 19-133, Zack Boyd 4-33, Connor Williams 8-20, Rodney Warren 6-11.
PASSING — Northeast: Rowe 0-2-0, 0. Bethel Christian: Williams 1-7-0, minus-2; Dunk 0-2-0, 0.
RECEIVING — Bethel Christian: Boyd 1-minus 2.