Newark High picked up its first win of the season last week. It just wasn’t on the field.
Glasgow High has forfeited the opening game of the season – in which the Dragons beat the Yellowjackets, 26-0 – resulting in a 2-0 victory for the Yellowjackets. The reason for the forfeit has yet to be disclosed.
Unfortunately for the Yellowjackets, their first win on the field still eludes them, as they lost 42-0 on Friday night at A.I. du Pont.
“A.I. came out ready to play and scored on the opening possession,” head coach Jody Russell said. “We ran 26 plays on our first two offensive drives and came away with no points. Finishing offensively is still a problem for us. Special teams looked better this week after some personnel changes and practice through the week.”
The win was the third straight for A.I. (3-1), while the loss for Newark (1-3) was its third in a row.
Injury bug strikes
Newark was down five starters on offense against A.I. due to injuries, forcing freshmen to fill key roles earlier than expected.
Ben Pittman and Bryndon Jones started at guard for the first time in their varsity careers, Jayden Smith started at wide receiver, and Dajour White filled in at running back.
Senior captain Donald Burton will miss several weeks after suffering an injury in the game.
“We are looking for our leaders to step up and fill the void of Don Burton,” Russell emphasized.
Russell is hopeful that junior running back/linebacker Tyran Rice will be back in the lineup Saturday.
Rice has not seen action since suffering an injury in the Glasgow game.
Captains say …
“I felt like we played nowhere near our full potential and didn’t put our whole entire effort onto the field that night and we paid for it,” Jason Mitchell-Dickerson said. “But we will not let that [linger] on our minds. We will move past it and have a good week at practice.”
“A lot of new [offensive] pieces were put in due to injuries from the previous game and it didn’t give us a lot of time to get the new pieces up to speed,” Mele Stallings said.
It’s homecoming on Saturday at Newark High with kickoff scheduled for noon.
“The message to the team about homecoming is that it is a special weekend [with a game] that no one in the current program has ever won,” Russell said. “The focus on the past and all of the tradition of the school and program is great, but we need to learn how to win. This will give us a short term goal of trying to win the week and win a homecoming game may give us a sharper focus.”
The Yellowjackets square off against a Dickinson High team seeking its first win. Following a 9-8 loss to Pitman High School (N.J.) in Week 1, the Rams failed to score in each of their three subsequent games. Dickinson’s opponents, on the other hand, haven’t had any problems scoring, racking up at least 40 points in all three contests.
“Dickinson is in a building phase of the program, as are we,” Russell pointed out. “We will see Saturday who has come further in there rebuilding quest.”
The Buzz from the Hive will be posted online each Monday morning during the high school football season and also in Friday’s print edition. It will include some game analysis and exclusive quotes from Newark High football coach Jody Russell and select members of the team after they've had a chance to watch game film, evaluate their performance, and begin preparation for the next game.