Eagles roll over Northeast, 45-3

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 15, 2000

Brad Banks, Hinds Community College’s quarterback, dives for a gain before being tripped up by Northeast linebacker L.P. Spence in the No. 4 Eagles’ 45-3 win Thursday night in Raymond. Banks was 13-of-21 for 183 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for another score. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

RAYMOND The Hinds Community College defense, solid as a brick wall in its first three games, allowed the most yards of the season Thursday night.

Not that it mattered.

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Northeast (1-2) had 158 yards of total offense, but managed just a field goal as the No. 4 Eagles throttled the Tigers, 45-3, in a non-division game.

A spirited halftime talk by coach Gene Murphy after Northeast kicker Chad Redding connected on a 30-yard field goal turned the switch on for the defense.

“They have a great defensive line,” said Northeast quarterback Dennis Sampson, who was sacked twice, intercepted twice and had four passes batted down. “They were able to stop our running game and key on our passing.”

The Tigers had 86 yards rushing, but most of those came in the second half against the Eagles’ reserves.

“Coach told us to come out (in the second half) and play like we can,” said Artevious Johnson, who had both Hinds interceptions. “We put a lot of pressure on their passing game.”

HCC had no trouble moving the ball. John Lewis, a transfer from Oklahoma State, had five catches for 112 yards and touchdown catches of 61 and 40 yards, and Rodrecus Rand had a TD catch.

Brad Banks completed 13 of 21 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored from 1 yard out. Freshman quarterback Chris Norwood played most of the second half, rushed for 85 yards, and completed both pass attempts for 61 yards and a score.

Norwood and Banks were sacked just once behind an offensive line that started two former Warren Central stars Stephen Montgomery and Eddie London for the first time.

“I thought the line did a good job, but we need to get better,” Montgomery said. “This is a young offensive line, and we’ll improve and get stronger day by day.”

Montgomery and London played every down, mostly because of a line riddled with injuries. Murphy said he would have to evaluate the film, but overall, his young linemen did their jobs.

“We had to have a lot of guys step up, and I thought they gave a good effort,” Murphy said.

Former Vicksburg High standout Thomas McKnight, who had 44 yards rushing, scored a touchdown midway through the first quarter for a 14-0 Hinds lead. The Eagles led 24-3 at halftime.

Lewis and Rand each caught a touchdown and Chris Porter returned a punt 80 yards for a score in the third quarter for the final margin.

Ex-Vicksburg High star Jason Myers and Matthew Williams each had a fumble recovery.

Hinds will open South Division play Thursday against Pearl River in Picayune at 7 p.m.

“This is the start of a new season, everyone is 0-0,” Murphy said. “We are a big target because we are the defending division champs and it’s easy for everyone to play their best against us. We have to come out and play every week.”