Indians come up short in shootout
Special to the Whig
After three weeks in which it struggled to implement a new offensive system, North East’s offense woke up Friday during its Susquehanna Division football opener against visiting Patterson Mill, gaining over 400 yards and scoring six touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the Indians, the Huskies also gained over 400 yards and scored six touchdowns, but they also converted all their extra points to down North East in a 42-36 shootout.
“We’re new coaches and we’re building a new culture here. … It took the varsity some time to click. We learned to work to-
gether,” Indians first-year coach Chris Schleich said. “We were sluggish the first game. We were slowly putting things together, but tonight, things just came together. Our offensive line was able to dig in and get some blocking. That was a big difference in this game.”
North East (0-4 overall, 0-1 division) entered the fourth quarter trailing 21-18, but five plays into the frame, the Indians took the lead at 24-21 when Jalen Giles powered his way for a 3-yard touchdown run with 9:42 left in the game.
The Huskies (1-3, 1-0) struck back immediately when Jordan Reid tossed a
38- yard score to Christian Pross. After the extra point, Patterson Mill retook the lead ,28- 24, with 9: 10 left in the fourth.
It only took three plays for the Indians to once again regain the advantage when Taylor Danglade scored for the third time of the game, taking a toss 57 yards for a touchdown.
Danglade, who rushed for 126 yards and added 43 yards receiv- ing, credited the offensive line for North East’s offensive outburst.
“All I can say is that I’m thankful for them. They just knew if they did their alignment and their assignment, they would push guys out of the way,” he said. “They know they can block people. … They just executed plays out there.”
The Indians led for all of 21 seconds as Reid connected with Cooper Mattheu for a 59-yard touchdown. The extra point then gave the Huskies a five- point lead with 7: 25 remaining. After stopping North East on fourth down with 2: 51 left, Patterson Mill then made it 42- 30 when Reid hooked up with Brendan Bandy for a 68- yard score, Reid’s fourth touchdown of the game.
On the Indians’ ensuing possession, Giles caught a screen pass from Thomas McCusker for a 67- yard touchdown with 1: 58 left to cap the scoring.
“We’re fighting hard, and we’re not giving up,” said Giles, who rushed for 180 yards, added 77 receiving yards and scored three touchdowns. “We’re trying to win. We’re getting better.”
North East recovered the following onside kick to give itself a chance to win, but on the first play of the ensuing drive, the Huskies recovered a fumble and ran out the clock to the hold for the win.
Schleich feels North East, which has lost 17- straight games, is turning a corner.
“I can say that I’m proud of North East football. Our kids are getting better, and they’re starting to understand how to fight in games,” Schleich said. “They’re starting to understand how to execute better. Sometimes a spread offense is difficult because they have a lot of formations to learn. We just had a few mistakes and missed tackles, and it cost us.
“Those things are going to get better because they are fixable, and our young team is going to grow. We’re not going to be a joke anymore.”
McCusker went 6- for- 9 for 137 yards and two touchdowns for the Indians.
Reid went 15- for- 23 for 310 yards through the air and added 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Patterson Mill.
North East running baby Taylor Danglade rushes with the football during his team’s 42-36 loss to visiting Patterson Mill in Susquehanna Division football action on Friday.