NEWARK – St. Mark’s remembered how losing to Newark to start to the 2015 season felt and in the debut of new Yellowjackets head coach Barry Zehnder, they were in no mood to be on the wrong side of history.
Senior running back Austin Colmery scored two second-half touchdowns and tight end-linebacker David Balint added a touchdown catch along with two sacks to help the Spartans spoil Newark’s home opener 27-7 Friday night.
“Coach told us before the game we hadn’t won a game in 10 months and that motivated us,” said Balint. “Newark played tough and I thought they were well disciplined. Both teams played really hard tonight.”
“We’ve been waiting for tonight since 7 on 7s started,” Colmery added. “We wanted revenge for last year. We came in with a chip on our shoulder and got the win.”
“I tell the guys you’re guaranteed 10 games, so enjoy the process,” St. Mark’s head coach John Wilson said. “I was really surprised and proud of their energy out there and when you have senior leadership like we have, it takes over.”
Balint opened up the scoring with a 26-yard touchdown catch from Billy Sullivan on 4th and 24 to give the Spartans (1-0) the only score of the first half. The Yellowjackets (0-1) responded early in the third quarter when quarterback Andrew DelPercio escaped the St. Mark’s pass rush and found receiver Mekhi Pressey in the right corner of the end zone for a 20 yard score and a 7-7 tie.
That tie lasted all of 17 seconds as Colmery scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 92-yard kickoff return to give St. Mark’s the lead for good.
“It was a middle return, some blocks opened up, and I just took it in for the score,” Colmery said.
Sullivan scored on a 4-yard keeper after a Newark fumble and Colmery added his second touchdown on a 27-yard run to close the scoring and give St. Mark’s a huge win to start the season.
“We got the first-game jitters out the way and I definitely this win helps us in the coming weeks,” Colmery said.
“Our guys were aggressive and played hard. It was overall a really good team effort,” Balint added.