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Big steps forwardPhoto Credit: Toriano Porter/PrepsKC

Twenty four seconds into Southeast's Interscholastic League matchup against Northeast, it was evident who the better team was.

The Knights wasted little time exploiting their athleticism against the Vikings, scoring just two plays into the game.

Several big plays followed for Southeast, which led 14-0 after one quarter en route to a 34-16 win.

With the victory, the Knights improved to 4-4 on the season and claimed a share of the IL title with a 3-0 mark. Lincoln Prep finished its league schedule 2-0 to tie Southeast for the crown.

"It would have been nice to try to compete for it and win it outright," Southeast first-year head coach Julius Foster said. "But at the same time, they deserved this. The kids, the parents, the school."

Southeast won just one game last year. Led by Foster, the three-game improvement culminated with a piece of hardware.

"They've come leaps and bounds from last year," Foster said. "Still got a ways to go, but this is a good start for them."

Northeast finished the regular season without a win. The Vikings, 0-7 and 0-3 in the IL, could do only so much against a quicker and stronger opponent.

"The kids are having fun, and that's the main thing at this level," head coach Roger Franks said. "They didn't quit. Any kid could belly up."

After a quick start, the Knights, led by Martez Hall and Dremel Jackson, continued to pile on, leading 28-2 at halftime.

Hall's 68-yard scoring run electrified the Southeast sideline. Jackson's 84-yard pick-6 interception return provided more highlights.

A score early in the third quarter extended the lead to 34-2. Northeast added two fourth quarter scores and one successful two-point conversion pass to end the game on a high note.

In the end, Southeast's season-ending win and league championship was validation for a few seniors playing for their fourth coach in less than four years.

"It's also good for the underclassmen to see what's possible out there and what they can achieve," Foster said.