East Wake began its 2014 campaign with an impressive 42-28 road win over non-conference opponent South Johnston Friday night at Ronald Avery Stadium.
Warriors’ quarterback Tripp Harrington threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for two more on 100 additional yards on the ground as he led an effective and dynamic East Wake attack.
East Wake would need all the offense that it could muster, as South Johnston quarterback DeParis Patterson tried to rally the Trojans with two fourth quarter touchdown passes to draw to within seven points.
Harrington sealed the game, however, with a 24-yard keeper with five minutes left to give the Greater Neuse 4A Conference members the win.
With a bevy of receivers at his disposal, Harrington took turns going to all of them on short and mid-range passes.
Harrington helped the Warriors build a 28-14 halftime lead thanks to a pair of first half touchdown strikes and one on the ground.
After a Nash Johnson fumble recovery for a touchdown and the subsequent two-point conversion, South Johnston pulled even with East Wake early in the second quarter.
Harrington responded in leading his troops down the field on East Wake’s next two possessions. The junior quarterback capped off a 12-play, 74-yard drive with a 47-yard touchdown bomb to Quincy Jackson, who had maneuvered his way behind the defense down the far sideline.
On the Trojans’ subsequent possession, East Wake’s defense forced a three-and-out, providing the hot Harrington with another opportunity at putting points on the board.
Harrington obliged, this time covering the final 24 yards of territory on a dazzling run on which he made several Trojans miss to give the Warriors the 14-point lead just 18 seconds before halftime.
The Warriors’ Damontay Rhem, the team’s leading rusher from last season, had an impressive performance on the ground as the senior running back patiently churned out 142 yards on 21 carries including a rushing touchdown. Rhem also hauled in a touchdown pass.
Jackson led the Warriors with seven catches for 93 yards. DeAndre Holmes added six receptions for 61 yards and Chris Ajagbawa totaled five grabs for 38 yards.
Patterson finished his night with 168 yards on 17-30 passing. Devin Harris was the main target as the standout receiver hauled in eight passes for 98 yards. Chris Beasley also caught five balls for 47 yards.