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Newport football rallies, stuns Stevens

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 9/13/2019 10:38:27 PM
Modified: 9/13/2019 10:38:15 PM

CLAREMONT — Trailing 18-13 in the fourth quarter, Newport turned two turnovers into touchdowns to stun Stevens, 26-18, in an NHIAA Division III football contest on Friday night at Barnes Park.

The last-quarter miscues were just two of the six turnovers for Stevens on the night.

Newport (1-1) started the fourth quarter by sacking Stevens quarterback Owen Taylor, putting the Cardinals in a second-down-and-22 situation. The Cardinals (1-1) tried to pass out of trouble, but Jagger Lovely picked off the Taylor throw and beat the defense into the end zone on a 40-yard return to give Newport the lead, 19-18.

Stevens was forced to punt on its next possession and caught a break when the Tigers let the ball roll dead at the 1-yard line. Newport got one first down but had to boot the ball away, with the Cardinals taking over in good position on the Newport 45.

Stevens gained nothing on first down. On the next play, Taylor faded deep to pass, but he was sacked and fumbled the football, which Devyn Heino picked up and returned 42 yards for the score.

The agony for Stevens continued immediately as the Cardinals fumbled the ensuing kickoff, with Newport recovering and running out the clock.

The win was a welcome relief for the Tigers, who opened the season with a 49-6 loss to Lebanon. Stevens won its opener over Epping-Newmarket.

The Tigers scored the first touchdown of the game on their first possession with a 57-yard, seven-play drive. Darshawn Chesser tallied from 5 yards out, and Marius Edwards booted the conversion.

Stevens answered right away with Keaghan McAllister taking it in from the 5. Stevens missed the conversion, the first of three such occurrances on the night.

The Cardinals took the lead on the first play of the second quarter and again it was McAllister running it in, this time from a yard out.

A short punt put Newport in good field position before the half, and the Tigers took advantage of the opportunity. Edwards passed to Austin Malool from 27 yards out, putting Newport up, 13-12.

Early in the second half, the Cardinals regained the lead on a Taylor-to-Lucas Mudge pass from 32 yards away. However, the rest of the night belonged to the Tigers.

Both teams are on the road next weekend, with Stevens at InterLakes-Moultonborough on Friday night and Newport at Campbell next Saturday.

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