With the team's leading rusher and two other senior starters on the sidelines due to a disciplinary matter, Northeast (3-5) was no match for Southern (4-4) as the Bulldogs spoiled the Eagles' homecoming, 28-6, in Pasadena last night.
Running back Chris Kelly, who leads the Eagles with 891 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing, and receiver Jeff Hagan and lineman Mike Adams were not allowed to play.
"It was a school matter, and they couldn't play," said Northeast coach Bart Rader, who added that their absence "had no effect on the game."
Southern coach Buck Gardner said he didn't realize Kelly wasn't in the game. "I didn't even notice and not having seen him play against us, I don't know if he would have made a difference or not," said Gardner.
The loss left the Eagles winless in four home games this season, with Chesapeake being the final home opponent.
Southern out-rushed Northeast in the first half, 172-21, on the way to a 21-0 lead.
Southern's junior-dominated team scored on its first possession with junior back Cory Contee getting the first of two touchdowns on a 15-yard run. Jimmy Galvin missed the kick.
Later in the quarter, junior Jamar Mullen's interception of a Jeff Dolch pass set up a six-play, 58-yard drive capped by a 44-yard touchdown burst by junior Jason Poknis. Junior quarterback Joe McCafferty hit Wayne Small with a two-point conversion pass to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead with two minutes left in the quarter.
Southern added a touchdown early in the second period, with Troy Dennis picking off a Dolch pass for his first of two interceptions. The Dennis theft gave the Dawgs a first down on the Northeast 30 and eight plays later Conte gathered in a McCafferty pass inside the ten and barreled his way into the end zone landing on the cone in the right corner.
Galvin's kick was good to make it 21-0.
The closest Northeast penetrated in the first half with just 93 yards of total offense was to the Southern 30.
'We stopped their running game by slanting our defensive line to the middle, ' said Southern defensive coordinator Jeff Cranford.
Southern added a fourth interception in the last period with Small doing the honors. Northeast did not score until ten seconds were left in the game.
Senior back Alan Grunder banged in from 16 yards out, but missed the kick to cap the scoring.
Southern's final touchdown came in the third period on a 44-yard sprint by senior Jayme Block, two plays after Conte reeled off the best run of the night scoring from 62 yards out only to have it nullified it by a clip.
Southern 14 7 7 0 -- 28
Northeast 0 0 0 6 -- 6
S -- Conte 15 run (kick failed)
S -- Poknis 44 run (Small pass from McCafferty)
S -- Conte 14 pass from McCafferty (Galvin kick)
S -- Block 44 run (Galvin kick)
N -- A. Grunder 16 run (kick failed)