On his first two rushing attempts of the game, Jervasse Herrin scored two touchdowns. The first came on a 63-yard run in the second quarter, and the second was five minutes later on a 12-yard run. That pair of touchdowns provided the spark the Red Devils needed to pull away from East Burke and pull out a 52-14 win at home.
“I just went out and played hard,” Herrin said with a smile after the game. “We just came out, blocked hard and executed.”
The junior running back scored four touchdowns Friday in the Red Devils’ 38-point victory. He returned the opening kickoff of the second half 82 yards for his third touchdown of the game giving Newton-Conover a 39-7 lead. Herrin’s final score was a nine-yard run to the left side — aided by a block from Octavius Harden.
“Talk about unselfish,” said Newton-Conover head coach Nick Bazzle. “Those kids just complement one another.”
Herrin finished the game with 112 yards rushing and three touchdowns on four carries and the kickoff returned for a touchdown. Harden had only 29 yards rushing and a touchdown on four attempts.
“I love that because it takes the pressure off Octavius, and he doesn’t feel like he has to carry us every night,” Bazzle said. “Our offense, I want it to be explosive. We’re a little power and finesse.”
The power in the Red Devils’ offense was on display throughout the first half. The Cavaliers took an early 7-0 lead on a 49-yard touchdown run by quarterback Timmy Page, and then Newton-Conover took over.
The Red Devils scored on seven of their next nine possessions for a 46-7 lead with 5 minutes 39 seconds left in the third quarter. Quarterback Adonis Hewitt (0-2-1, zero yards) threw an interception on the only drive in that stretch that didn’t result in a touchdown.
Herrin scored all his touchdowns during the 46-0 run, and Hewitt, Harden and fullback Jamal Coates scored one touchdown apiece. Coates had nine carries for a game-high 126 yards — including his 27-yard scoring run at the beginning of the second quarter giving the Red Devils a 12-7 lead.
“They have a good team over there,” said East Burke head coach Jim Ruark. “Defensively, we’re making improvements, but we’re making improvements when we’re playing against teams that are undefeated.”
After giving up the quick touchdown, the Red Devils’ defense shut down East Burke’s run-heavy offense.
The Cavaliers fumbled on their second possession — setting up Hewitt’s touchdown run — and punted on their next five.
East Burke whittled Newton-Conover’s lead down to 46-14 on a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Childers to Heath Dellinger.
Childers went 2-of-3 passing for a game-high 58 yards with no interceptions. Page completed one pass in six attempts for 18 yards. Page led the Cavaliers with 66 yards rushing on 12 attempts.
The Red Devils also showed improvement in their seventh win of the season. After getting off to slow starts early in the season, they showed the ability to quickly rebound when trailing.
Bazzle said the difference in Friday’s game and the first six games of this season was the Red Devils’ slow start ended after East Burke took an early 7-0 lead on a two-play, 65-yard drive that lasted only 30 seconds. He added Newton-Conover’s slow starts earlier in the year sometimes lasted into the third quarter, he added.
Newton-Conover (7-0, 3-0) travels next week to take on Bunker Hill (5-2, 1-2), and East Burke (0-7, 0-3) plays at West Caldwell (2-5, 1-2).