Eastern Alamance runs past Northwood
John Kirby was worried that if his Eagles got into a knock-down, drag-out battle with Northwood it would not turn out well for his Eastern Alamance High School squad.
Turns out the coach was wrong.
The Eagles pummeled Northwood 56-21 in the first round of the state 3A playoffs at Fred Brady Athletic Complex and commanded the game from start to finish.
“We felt like if we were going to get into some kind of slugfest it was going to go against us because those guys can score at will,” Kirby said.
“We were hoping for a low-scoring game. I think early on they made some mistakes and we were able to put the ball in,” he said.
Eastern Alamance travels to Western Alamance next week for the second round, having lost to the cross-county rivals 10-7 earlier this season.
“They’re a good football team, and they’ve been our nemesis the last few years. It should be some great football,” Kirby said.
Eagles standout running back Malcolm Summers had three touchdowns – 40- and 50-yard rushing plays and a 73-yard pass reception.
“My favorite touchdown tonight was probably the one where I dragged like five people into the end zone,” he said.
Summers also went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season. He had 965 coming into the game and toted the ball times for yards.
“That’s a real good accomplishment, but I’m not satisfied with that. The school record is 1,500, and I want to break that,” Summers said.
“But it’s not about me. It’s about winning. I don’t care about the record as long as we win,” he said. “Shout out to my line. I couldn’t do anything without my line.”
Summers said it was a big boost to win handily against Northwood.
“We’ve got to keep winning. This win right here fueled us to go into playoffs. Now we know the goal, and that’s a state championship we’ve never had,” Summers said.
“Malcolm has been our go to in the backfield all year long,” Kirby said. “He’s got a God-given talent. He can run the ball.”
A full moon and a bad omen met the Chargers from the very start. Malcolm Summers had an easy 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff, but offsetting penalties forced a re-kick, after which the Eagles went three and out.
On the ensuing first down, Northwood running back Kadarus Rone ran wide right, got popped and coughed up the football. The Eagles’ Ryan Woods scooped it up, ran straight down the sideline and zipped across the goal line unmolested at 10:06 for a 7-0 lead.
On a succeeding Eastern punt Northwood’s Jalen Smith muffed the reception and the Eagles’ Kyle Henson fell on it at the 2-yard line. Three plays later Eastern quarterback Joey Lanier ran up the gut for a 1-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
Summers, showing great speed, scored again with 28 seconds remaining in the first half, taking a handoff at midfield and galloping all the way downfield for a 21-0 lead.
The Eagles scored twice in the second quarter.
On 2nd-and-13 from the Eagles 27, Lanier hit Summers on a screen pass. The speedy Summers took off down the sideline, cut back across the field and careened into the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown and 28-0 lead at 5:27.
On the Chargers’ ensuing possession, Woods intercepted a Ty Pinnix pass on first down. Three plays later Lanier struck Malik Wilson in the flat, Wilson jitterbugged in place between two defenders, left them bamboozled and took off for paydirt 53 yards downfield at 4:16 and a 35-0 lead.
The Chargers finally got on the board with back-to-back scores in the third quarter. Pinnix dashed in from 4 yards out with 5:00 on the clock after moving Northwood into scoring position with a 31–yard pass to wide receiver Imoh Udoh.
On their next possession, facing 3rd and 21, Pinnix scrambled on a broken pass play, eluded the grasp of a pair of defenders, hurdled to the wide open safety of the sidelines and ran it in from 41 yards out with 35 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Eagles came back with a 31-yard touchdown rush by running back Josh Lynch with 9:55 remaining in the game. Lynch boogied up the middle past several defenders, skipped right and outpaced everyone to the goal line.
Summers, at 5-foot-10, 150 pounds squats 515 pounds, got his third touchdown of the night with a hard-gained 40-yard rush at 8:21. Summers muscled through three separate hordes of would-be tacklers, the last set of which he dragged into the end zone with him to put the Eagles up 49-14.
The Chargers were on the move again when Eastern defensive back Gavin Dicken intercepted a Pinnix pass in the end zone and return possession to the Eagles at their 20. On 3rd and 4 John Lamot, who moved from running back to quarterback, zipped 74 yards down a vacant lane to score at 5:58.
With 3:12 remaining, Northwood’s Kenton Edwards was on the last leg of a double reverse and went around right end into the end zone on a 20-yard rush to make it 56-21.
E. ALAMANCE 56, NORTHWOOD 21
Northwood 0 0 14 7 — 21
Eastern Alamance 21 14 0 21 — 56
EA — Ryan Woods 11 fumble return (Eric Fenton kick) 10:06
EA — Joey Lanier 1 run (Fenton kick) 5:54
EA — Malcolm Summers 50 run (Fenton kick) :28
EA — Summers 73 reception from Lanier (Fenton kick) 5:27
EA — Malik Wilson 53 reception from Lanier (Fenton kick) 4:16
N — Ty Pinnix 4 run (Anthony Castro kick) 5:00
N — Pinnix 41 run (Castro kick) 2:31
EA — Josh Lynch 31 run (Fenton kick) 9:55
EA — Summers 40 run (Fenton kick) 8:21
EA — John Lamot 74 run (Fenton kick) 5:58
N — Kenton Edwards 20 run (Castro kick) 3:12
RUSHING — Northwood, Kadarus Rone 16-56, Kenton Edwards 1-20, Montel Goods 2-14. E. Alamance, Malcolm Summers 15-119, John Lamot 9-92, Josh Lynch 3-26.
PASSING — Northwood, Ti Pinnix 25-50-264. E. Alamance, Joey Lanier 10-22-258, John Lamot 2-4-26.
RECEIVING — Northwood, Jalen Smith 6-101, Kadarus Rone 8-78, Imoh Udoh 5-53, Jacob Fowler 2-12, Spencer Roberson 3-11, John Atwater 1-9. E. Alamance, Malik Wilson 4-149, Malcolm Summers 1-73, Matt Pate 2-27, Gavin Dicken 2-13, Jacob Howard 1-11.
Records — Northwood 8-4, Eastern Alamance 9-3.