MIDDLETOWN – Going up against a Middletown team that hasn’t lost since 2011, Newark kept the game close in the first half on Friday. However, the Cavaliers used a relentless offensive attack to pull away in the third quarter, ending the game with a final score of 49-13.
Regardless of the final score, Newark head coach Butch Simpson credited his team for its effort in a tough road game.
“You’re playing the No. 1 team, and they’re kind of apparently unbeatable, but our kids didn’t look at it that way,” Simpson said. “They came to play.”
The Cavaliers scored first, with quarterback Darius Wade finding receiver Chris Godwin for a 32-yard touchdown, a sign of things to come.
The Yellowjackets responded, converting a fourth down a few plays before junior quarterback Ben Campbell hit junior wideout Peter Suski for a 25-yard score to make it 7-6.
After recovering an onside kick, the Yellowjackets drove down to the Middletown 26 before being stopped on downs. Wade then found Godwin for a touchdown before halftime, sending the teams into the break with the Cavaliers up 14-6.
In the third quarter, an interception by Godwin set up a touchdown pass for Middletown, with the Cavaliers going ahead 21-6. Another touchdown pass made it 28-6, but Newark did not quit.
A 75-yard kickoff return gave Newark good field position, which the team took advantage of. Senior running back Keith Stubbs scored from seven yards out to cut the lead to 28-13.
Newark then got the Cavaliers into a fourth-down situation with seconds remaining in the third quarter. However, Wade hit Godwin for a 37-yard score as the quarter ran out.
Simpson said Wade, who is going to play football at Boston College, and Godwin, who will play at Penn State, are two of the best players he has seen in over four decades of coaching.
“They’re going to make Delaware very proud,” he said.
Middletown added two more scores in the final period to win 49-13, although Simpson said the final score did not reflect the true nature of the game.
“We played hard, it’s just that two very special players are capable of taking over a game at any time, and that’s about what happened,” he said. “I’m disappointed that the score got to where it is because that game was much more competitive than that.”
The eight-point lead the Cavaliers held at halftime was their smallest margin since a week-two matchup with Caesar Rodney.
After nine games, the Yellowjackets sit at 3-6, an improvement over last year’s 1-9 mark. The team concludes the season Friday, hosting Concord for senior night.
“They’re disciplined, they’re structured, they’re methodical, so we’ll have our hands full but hopefully we come out with the spirit of the last game,” Simpson said.