Scott scored 31 straight points to come away with a 31-14 win in its home opener over Newport on Friday night in Taylor Mill.
After falling behind 6-0 in the first quarter, Scott’s defense bowed its back and shut down Newport’s talented rushing attack for most of the night, allowing the Eagles to build a 19-6 lead by halftime. That lead increased to 31-6 in the fourth quarter.
“Newport has a great rushing attack and I think they’ll be a really good contender in their district,” Scott coach Dan Woolley said. “I was a little worried when I saw their big running backs breaking through holes early, but we finally put it together and for the rest of the game after that first series we played really well.”
Scott’s depth and conditioning played a big role in the win. The Eagles’ offensive and defensive lineman, most of whom play both ways, wore down the Wildcats’ as the game went on and dominated at the line of scrimmage in the second half.
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy junior quarterback Johnny Noyen (15) rips of a big gain during the first period against visiting New Richmond Sept. 12.
“We thought going in that we had more depth than them,” Woolley said. “They’ve got some big guys, but we think that for our size our big guys are physically conditioned pretty well. I think it showed late in the game that we were a little bit fresher than them.”
Newport head coach Matt Schmitz agreed that his team lost the battle in the trenches as the game went on.
“I just told our line that we were a different line in the first quarter and a half than we were in the last two and a half quarters,” Schmitz said. “(Conditioning) might have been an issue.”
After a sluggish start by both offenses, Newport struck first with 3:38 to play in the first quarter on a 12-yard touchdown pass from senior Paul Price to senior Brian Burton. Buoyed by a 20-yard slant from Price to Burton on the first play and a 44-yard strike from Price to junior receiver Ryan Ochoa on the second play, the six-play drive spanned 95 yards in less than three minutes to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.
Scott answered right back by utilizing its own stable of talented backs. On the ensuing possession, the Eagles put together a seven-play (all rushes), 59-yard drive that culminated in a 22-yard touchdown run up the middle by senior Eli Sowder. Junior Logan Lawson’s extra-point gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead with 43 seconds left in the first quarter.
Two big plays helped shift the momentum fully in Scott’s favor early in the game.
Scott senior Antonio Scott blocked Newport’s punt attempt on the Wildcats’ next drive, and then fell on it at the Eagles’ 11. A play later, Fitzgerald found senior Ryan Seeney for a touchdown.
The Eagles’ third touchdown came on a scoop-and-score fumble recovery by senior Eli Humbert. Price dropped back to pass and then lost the ball as he went into his throwing motion, and Humbert picked it up and rumbled 17 yards for the touchdown – the first of his career.
“That was the craziest experience of my life,” Humbert said. “It was exciting. He just dropped the ball and my mentality is always just to pick up any loose ball.”
Scott took a 19-6 lead into halftime, but just over four minutes into the second half that lead increased to 25-6. After being gifted with field position at the Newport 33, junior running back Deondre Pleasant weaved behind his blockers and then shot down the right sideline for a touchdown on the first play of the drive.
Pleasant and senior Roberto London carried the Eagles’ offense behind a strong performance from the offensive line. The duo combined for over 200 yards rushing, plus Sowder added over 50 yards to go with his touchdown.
Scott made sure its lead would stand up in the fourth quarter. After forcing a punt on Newport’s first possession of the period, the Eagles rattled off 13 plays and wasted nearly seven minutes
of game clock before junior fullback Jerry Berling punched in the Eagles’ final touchdown of the night on a 2-yard plunge.
Newport added a 34-yard pass from Price to Ryan Ochoa with nine seconds left to round out the scoring.
“I just think we went up against a good football team, and once we hit some adversity we didn’t battle back from it too well,” Schmitz said. “Overall it’s a frustrating night, but they’re a really good team.”
Newport 6 0 0 8
Scott 7 12 6 6
N – Burton 12 pass from Price (Joseph run failed)
S – Sowder 22 run (Lawson Kick)
S – Seeney 11 pass from Fitzgerald (PAT failed)
S – Humbert 17 fumble recovery (London run failed)
S – Pleasant 33 run (London run failed)
S – Berling 2 run (PAT blocked)
N – Ochoa 34 pass from Price (Burton pass from Price)
Scott (3-0), Newport (1-2)