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Newport football flies past Stevens

  • Newport's Marius Edwards breaks away from the Stevens defense to score during the Tigers game on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 in Newport, N.H. Newport won 53-6 (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • After making an interception Newport's Bryce Willey runs to the end zone for a touchdown during the Tigers game with Stevens on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 in Newport, N.H. Newport won 53-6. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Stevens' Jai-Lique Ribeiro tries to stay inbounds with Newport's Tyler Patenaude, left, and Bryce Ashley on him during their game on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 in Newport, N.H. Newport won 53-6.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/24/2020 9:33:14 PM
Modified: 10/24/2020 9:40:25 PM

NEWPORT — When the Newport High football team broke from its postgame huddle near midfield Saturday afternoon, the squad shouted, “Three more!” That’s the focus for the Tigers as they shift their focus to the NHIAA Division IV playoffs.

But before they could think about tournament preparation, however, they made sure the Chamber Cup was staying in town for another year.

They did just that, racing past rival Stevens, 53-6, at Maryn Field in the teams’ regular- season finale. Marius Edwards rushed for three touchdowns as Newport racked up 235 rushing yards.

The Tigers held the D-III Cardinals to 79 total yards and capitalized off of all four of the visitors’ turnovers. Chase Hamilton, Devyn Heino, Josh Orlowski and Adrian Urista were disruptive in the trenches for a defense that has allowed only 37 points in five games.

“The kids really wanted to play Stevens,” Newport coach John Proper said. “They knew when we changed divisions that was something that might not happen. This is what they’ve been working for since they lost that Lebanon game. And now we’re looking to win three more.”

Newport pieced together a nine-play drive midway through the first quarter over 4 minutes, 23 seconds. Jagger Lovely carried the ball four times for 24 yards, but it was Edwards who gave the Tigers an 8-0 lead on a 2-yard run, breaking around the right corner.

Three of Stevens’ four turnovers came in the second quarter, and by halftime Newport (4-1) led, 32-0.

Cards quarterback Owen Taylor threw his first of two interceptions of the afternoon with 11:53 remaining in the first half. The senior slipped when he dropped back to pass and frantically threw the ball, which Jayden Conroy grabbed on the Tigers’ 40-yard line.

Edwards moved Newport down the field in seven plays, capping off the drive on a QB sneak and putting the hosts up, 16-0.

Stevens (1-3) went three and out on the ensuing drive, but things went awry on the punt from its 39-yard line. The snap sailed over punter Braxton LeBlanc’s head, and when he rushed to pick up the ball inside the 10-yard line and get off the kick, Newport’s Josh Sharron was there to block it. Hamilton hopped on the loose ball in the end zone, extending the Tigers lead to 24.

The first-half scoring was capped off with 3:10 remaining when Bryce Willey perfectly read Taylor’s pass, snagged it and returned it for a 35-yard touchdown.

“They’re so fast and physical, and they have a real big line,” Stevens coach Paul Silva said. “Lot of experience-skilled backs; I think they wore us down. But you can’t turn the ball over against a team like this. You give them short field, you’re just asking for this kind of score.”

Newport received the ball to start the second half and quickly moved down the field on three plays. Sharron picked up a 30-yard run to position the Tigers near the red zone, and Edwards scored his final touchdown of the day on the next play with a 22-yard run.

Any chance of a Stevens comeback was quickly dashed on the following kickoff when the return was muffed and recovered by Newport.

Darshawn Chesser and Tyler Gobin each had a rushing touchdown for the Tigers in the second half. Stevens’ lone touchdown came with 10:39 to play on a Luke Forrest 1-yard run.

“The last three games have been crazy,” said Proper, who returned 21 of 22 starters from last year’s team. “We’ve blocked three blocked punts and returned them. We’re forcing turnovers. The goal is to win the turnover battle. We have and we’ve capitalized on it.”

The NHIAA is expected to announce tournament pairings at some point Saturday night, but not much information has been put out.

Silva said he’s heard his team will be heading to Laconia, but either way he’ll have the Cards ready for the D-III postseason like always. Stevens finished 6-5 last year but made it to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Trinity.

And Proper’s Tigers are in a division with only 10 teams. Nobody else in D-IV has looked as dominant or played as many games as Newport, but that’s OK with the second-year coach.

“We’ll be ready,” he said.

Notes: Edwards completed all three of his pass attempts and finished with 46 yards through the air. Lovely had 76 yards rushing. Newport succeeded on all six of its two-point conversions. … A PA announcement before the game said Stevens and Newport have played rugby, and now football, dating back to 1897. … The Tigers have scored 199 points on the season and more than 40 points in four of their five games.

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com.




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