The North East running game proved to be too much for Patterson Mill in the Ravens RISE High School Football Showdown Friday night.
Quarterback Eli Perry led the way with 171 yards and a touchdown while Jachai Graham ran for two touchdowns and Jalen Giles added another as North East rolled to a 27-7 victory over Patterson Mill in an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference match-up.
The Indians had little trouble with Patterson Mill last year, rolling to a 42-13 victory in Harford County, and this game proved to be a repeat performance. North East jumped in front quickly and never was challenged as the Indians’ running game rolled up 247 yards and four first-half touchdowns.
“Our kids up front executed well, and that’s when good things happen in football,” North East coach Chris Schleich said. “It can be like a symphony or a play when that (happens).”
North East (3-2) often spread its receivers and ran up the middle. Or, quarterback Perry, who ran in several directions, drew the defense towards him before making a quick pitch to the wing to spring a running backs on the muddy field.
Things may have been worse for the Huskies if North East did not have three touchdowns called back due to penalties.
Patterson Mill (0-5) has struggled on offense this season, and the Huskies found more difficulty in this game. They ran the ball effectively at times and moved down the field on occasion but couldn’t come up with the big plays needed for points.
The Indians’ defense made matters worse by controlling the middle of the line and coming up with several good tackles as the Huskies tried to run.
North East started quickly, scoring on its first possession. Perry made a quick pitch to Giles on the right, and he raced for a 31-yard touchdown. Drake Bare added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 7:29 left in the quarter.
Perry came through again later in the quarter. He burst free up the middle and ran for a 52-yard touchdown. Bare’s kick made it 14-0 with 1:22 remaining.
“It was my first time playing quarterback but I stepped up for the team,” Perry said. “I just did as much as I could. Our linemen, they made a lot of holes. They played a big part in our running game.”
The Huskies continued having problems stopping the Indians’ big plays on the ground in the second quarter. After North East got possession at the Patterson Mill 40 following a short punt, Graham ran for 39 yards before being dragged down at the 1-yard line.
Graham finished the job on the next play with 7:09 left in the half.
Patterson Mill then fumbled a North East punt later in the period, and the Indians recovered at the Huskies’ 7-yard line. Three players later, Perry pitched to Graham for a 6-yard touchdown and a 27-0 lead, which is what North East took into halftime.
The Huskies got their offense moving in the third quarter. They marched deep into North East territory, but the Indians stopped them on fourth-and-goal from the 9-yard line and took possession at the 5-yard line. The drive lasted nearly five minutes, and the Indians took that 27-point lead into the fourth quarter.
But the Huskies finally got a break early in the fourth quarter when a bad snap on a North East punt gave Patterson Mill the ball on the 2-yard line. Nathan Weller ran for a two-yard touchdown two plays later.
PM; 0; 0; 0; 7; -;7
NE; 14; 13; 0; 0;-;27
N- Giles 31 run (Bare kick)
N- Perry 52 run (Bare kick)
N- Graham 3 run (Bare kick)
N- Graham 6 run (kick failed)
P- Weller 2 run (Pross kick)