One of Newton’s Laws says that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and it applied to the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference clash between Clayton and Southeast Raleigh.
Southeast Raleigh had won four straight games, while the Comets had dropped three in a row. Thanks to 24 unanswered points, the Bulldogs ran their streak to five with a 24-7 win Friday night at Nixon-Fowler Stadium.
After recovering from losses to Garner and West Johnston in September, the Bulldogs (8-3, 4-2) are peaking at just the right time.
“I thought we made some mental mistakes and wasted some opportunities,” Southeast Raleigh coach Daniel Finn said. “But, for our kids to fight and go through this, I think we’re going to learn from it heading into the playoffs.”
The Comets (6-4, 3-3) ended the regular season on a four-game losing streak.
“The past four weeks haven’t gone our way, but that’s life,” Clayton coach Hunter Jenks said. “We’ve got to come back and use the bye week from Hurricane Matthew to get better so we can give a better product in the playoffs.”
After a three-and-out to start the game, Clayton’s Patrick Gallmeyer stripped the ball away from Bulldog quarterback Maurice Nelson. That set the Comets up on the Southeast Raleigh 37-yard line.
On the next play, Clayton’s Austin Cagle hit Devin Carter on an out route to the right. Carter turned up, and raced down the sideline for the touchdown.
Those turned out to be the only points of the night for the Comets, while Southeast Raleigh dented the scoreboard in all four quarters.
In the second quarter with the score tied at 7-7, Clayton moved the ball inside the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line. On second-and-goal from the 6, the Comets ran an option play to the left.
Austin Cagle’s option pitch was behind Corbin Northern, and the Bulldogs recovered the fumble.
THEY SAID IT
“If we can get our offense back clicking and figure it out, the defense is playing pretty well right now,” Jenks said. “If we can fix some things and start scoring some points, we can win a game or two in the playoffs.”
THREE TO KNOW
Maurice Nelson, Southeast Raleigh: The senior quarterback passed for 97 yards while leading the Bulldogs with 79 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Devin Carter, Clayton: The junior wide receiver finished the night with six catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Jeffrey Onyegbule, Southeast Raleigh: The senior running back made the most of his touches, rushing for 78 yards on just 11 carries.
BY THE NUMBERS
2: Southeast Raleigh lost two fumbles.
3: Clayton turnovers (two fumbles, one interception).
23: Length, in yards, of Southeast Raleigh kicker Kevin Coto’s third-quarter field goal.
32: Passing attempts for the two Comet quarterbacks (Cagle and Landen Leiser).
54: Yards for Clayton’s sophomore running back Trevaun Richardson in his return from a foot injury .
154: Passing yards for Clayton, on 17 completions.
175: Combined penalty yardage for both teams on 19 accepted fouls.
Both teams will have a bye week before the playoffs.