Newark High scored more points on Friday night than it has in a game all season and defeated Brandywine 27-13 to pick up its third Flight B win of the season.
“As far as the win goes, we preached going 1-0 each week from here on out and trying to end 5-5,” head coach Jody Russell said. “They had a really good week of practice and came out and played well.”
Russell pointed out the impact Donald Burton’s return to the lineup has had on the offense.
“Getting Donald Burton back at tackle has re-energized the run game,” Russell said.
Briheim Kelson had 19 carries for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Tyran Rice added 65 yards and two scores on the ground. The Yellowjackets ran for a season-high 225 yards.
“Most of the run game was behind Burton and [Alex] Aviles, who dominated all day,” Russell pointed out. “We felt we had an advantage up front going into the game ,and the offensive line – Burton, Aviles, Zach Zeoli, Ben Pittman and Shaun Babiak – came to play.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Newark put forth a solid effort, limiting Brandywine to its second-lowest scoring output of the season.
“We kept Brandywine's passing game in check,” Russell explained. “There was pressure on the quarterback all game long, which forced quick throws and didn’t let him feel comfortable in the pocket.”
The win puts Newark’s record at 3-5 overall and 3-2 in Flight B.
“The guys have really bought in, which is encouraging,” Russell said. “Hopefully, we can continue getting better.”
Captains say …
“We played hard and executed on all three sides of the ball,” Aviles said. “I think our running backs ran hard and did an excellent job finding the holes our offensive line gave them and made big plays. Our defense did well with getting pressure on the quarterback and preventing him from throwing the ball deep and making big plays.”
“It was a great effort across the board in all three phases of the game for us, and this should give us a lot of momentum going into Saturday against McKean,” Mele Stallings said.
“It was a win that we needed,” Jason Mitchell-Dickerson said. “We worked hard all week in practice and felt like we could travel up to Brandywine and leave successful and that’s what we did. We’re hoping the energy from last Friday can carry over to this week to help us get a win against McKean.”
Five game balls
The offensive line of Burton, Aviles, Zeoli, Pittman and Babiak turned in its best performance of the season.
Newark hosts McKean High School on Saturday morning. The Highlanders enter the game with a 4-4 record (3-2 Flight B), so it’s a must-win for them to have a chance for a winning season and to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
The game is also an opportunity for the Yellowjackets to move ahead of the Highlanders and take over sole possession of third place in the Flight B standings.
“McKean is very athletic and explosive on offense,” Russell pointed out. “We need to avoid the big play, which has plagued us this year.”
Russell will look to his team’s own running game to continue to shoulder the offensive load.
The run game will continue to be a major focus and should be bolstered by the return of Jason Cortez, who hasn’t played since the Lake Forest game because of a forearm injury.”
Kickoff on Butch Simpson Field at Bob Hoffman Stadium is at 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.