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Cardinals Football Blanks Newport

  • Paul Silva



Valley News Correspondent
Saturday, September 08, 2018

Newport — Junior Keaghan McAllister ran for more than 200 yards and scored three touchdowns as Stevens High posted its second shutout in as many games with a dominating 19-0 win over Newport on Saturday at Maryn Field.

“He just makes one cut and hits the hole,” said Stevens coach Paul Silva of McAllister, who carried the ball 29 times for 212 yards.

Still while McAllister led the highlight film, it was the Stevens defense that did not allow the Tigers to go any deeper than the Stevens 33-yard line, picked off two passes (both by Baylor Rozzell) and held Newport to just three first downs.

“The defense was outstanding,” said Silva, who cited linebacker Quentin Bicknell for taking charge and, as he put it, “filling the holes.”

The loss left Newport at 0-2 and coach Dennis Borcuk Jr. wondering a bit what is going on.

“We had a terrific practice yesterday both offensively and defensively and really thought we were ready,” the first-year coach said. “But you know timing is everything and our timing was off today, and also that McAllister kid is tough to handle.”

McAllister was especially hard to handle in the first half as he rushed for 134 yards and two scores. At 5-feet-10 and 170 pounds, McAllister isn’t a big back, but he hits the hole quickly, follows his blocking and always seems to be falling forward when he goes down. He carried the ball six times on Stevens’ first drive, a 59-yard, eight-play march that culminated with McAllister taking it in from the 4-yard line. Gabe Spaulding booted the conversion and it was 7-0 with less than five minutes played.

Following a Newport punt, Stevens turned the ball over on a fumble, with Newport’s JT Blaine pouncing on it the Stevens 37. In four plays Newport got just four yards — it would be the Tigers’ deepest penetration of the day — and punted, pinning Stevens back to its 10. However, McAllister went on a 24-yard romp on first down to set up the second Stevens score. A key play on what was a 90-yard drive was fourth-and-11 play with Matthew Jones scampering for a first down followed by McAllister’s dash up the middle from the 9.

The Cardinals threatened to score again before the half as they battered their way from their 14 to the Newport 6, but on a third-and-3 a sloppy hand off led to a fumble that was smothered by Newport’s Blake McKinney. Newport was not able to put much together in its last possession but did get a 54-yard punt by Marius Edwards.

Bicknell, the Stevens quarterback, completed three of six passes in the first half, including 18-yard screen passes to McAllister and Rozzell.

The only scoring in the second half came on the first play of the fourth quarter, with McAllister taking in from the 5, again up the middle

Silva was delighted overall with the balance of his team which not only moved the ball but also defended well.

“We’ve got to clean some stuff up,” said Silva, who mentioned some lapses in blocking assignments.

Stevens returns home on Friday night to host InterLakes-Moultonborough, while Newport is home on Saturday with defending NHIAA Division III champion Campbell.