Fresh off its own homecoming victory, Newark traveled to St. Mark’s on Friday night hoping to stretch its homecoming game winning streak to two. But the Spartans had other plans, as they celebrated their own homecoming with a 27-14 victory.
“The game was back and forth for most of the game,” Newark head coach Jody Russell said.
St. Mark’s scored a touchdown in each of the first two quarters to take a 14-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
“The lack of points in the first half was due to two turnovers that put us in bad field position,” Russell pointed out.
Newark got on the scoreboard in the second half when Mele Stallings connected with Kamau Lately for a 66-yard touchdown.
“At the half, we talked about Lately’s one-on-one matchup on the outside,” Russell explained. “He beat the corner for two long catch and runs.”
The second was an 80-yard touchdown reception, Lately’s fifth of the year, to pull Newark within 24-14. However, those would be the final points for Newark, and a 28-yard field goal by Brandon Keen in the fourth quarter sealed the win for St. Mark’s.
“We had trouble stopping their power run game,” Russell said. “St. Mark's was very physical up front.”
“Overall we are healthy,” Russell reported. “Hopefully, we get Donald Burton and Jason Cortez back this week or next. That will solidify our line.”
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“I feel as though we gave a great effort in the second half,” Stallings said. “We just have to learn how to play four quarters of football.”
“We failed to be disciplined throughout the entire game,” Alex Aviles said. “We need to focus on doing our job.”
“It was a very tough one for us,” Jason Mitchell-Dickerson said. “We aren’t disappointed in our effort. We feel like we played a good game against a good team but just fell short by not matching points with them.”
Newark returns to the comforts of home to take on a Howard team coming off its lone loss of the season. The Wildcats dropped a 28-14 decision to Hodgson Vo-Tech, a team considered by many to be the top team in Delaware.
“Howard is a very good football team,” Russell said. “They are big up front and their defense has only given up fifty points on the year. They are athletic and fly around.”
Howard’s five victories were by at least a 30-point margin with the Wildcats scoring 42 or more points in four of those games.
Howard can play defense, too. Their five victories include three shutouts while giving up just 22 points combined in the other two wins.
“We need to play without mistakes,” Russell said. “Can't turn the ball over and give them extra chances with the ball.”
Kickoff at Newark is 10:30 a.m.
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.