(Newtown CT) No one expected otherwise in this one.
Newtown (2-0) finished off visiting ND-Fairfield (0-2) in the first half and played reserves thereafter in a 45-7 win over the Lancers on Friday night.
No crystal ball was required in assuming that ND would be overmatched against Newtown. Why? The Lancers from Division S have not won more than one game in each of the last four seasons. Last time ND came to Blue-and-Gold Stadium they were down by 36 points after one period! You get the idea.
The Hawks slowed themselves down early in their home opener with penalties. Still they came away with two scores in the first quarter.
At 7:43 Ben Mason took a short pass from QB Justin Dunn into the end zone. Ben’s TD started an evening in which Hawks’ runners got into the Lancers’ secondary in the first half with regularity. Tackling Newtown’s big/fast/elusive ball-carriers was a first-half nightmare for ND.
Before the next TD, defender Jared Pearson leveled Notre Dame pass receiver Ryan Celini. Ryan was looking back toward passing QB Micah Brantley as the ball reached him. When he started to turn and look upfield, Jared put a full-speed hit on him. Credit Ryan for holding on although when he got up he walked as if he wasn’t sure whether he was on foot or horseback.
Just before the first period ended (:07) Jared Pearson carried tacklers into the end zone. Ryan Kost added the extra point.
Trailing 14-0, ND needed to put together a drive and avoid mistakes. Neither got done and the Hawks rolled up four more touchdowns in the second period.
The Newtown defense was clearly tuned into the presence of senior Hakim Fleming. Hakim tallied twelve touchdowns in 2014 including 1251 yards gained. The Hawks starting defense kept the 5’11” (255 pounds) back from even getting into their secondary. Therefore, sustaining a drive wasn’t going to happen for ND.
Miscues kill teams. In the fatal second quarter the Lancers were intercepted and lost a fumble. They also chose to fake a punt from their side of midfield and failed at it.
Ethan Carpenter (10:49) swept right and followed blockers into the end zone.
Jared Pearson (8:41) carried defenders straight ahead for a score from the ND 5.
QB Justin Dunn tossed a pass that Declan Sullivan (4:27) caught at the ND 5 and carried in. Justin’s pass may have been underthrown because Jared Pearson was about ten yards deeper in the end zone.
Elusive Hunter Cobb (1:52) used a good collection of blockers to get around right end and in for six after ND’s fumble gave good field position.
The halftime show at Blue-and-Gold is always a pleasure to watch. This is being said by someone who almost always takes his eyes off of the field during halftime. Not at Newtown!
I was hoping for running time in the second half. Newtown did their part by benching starters and having the reserves use running plays almost exclusively.
The only time the Hawks’ starters showed up was when kicker Ryan Kost successfully attempted a 33-yard field goal. Isn’t that 33-yard distance the same as the NFL extra-point distance?
The Lancers broke the 45-0 shutout in the fourth quarter. They also had a punt block in that frame by Klyde Auba. Hakim Fleming (3:56) tallied the TD after getting into a north/south running route in the Newtown secondary. Several reserve Hawks bounced off the defending Class S heavyweight wrestling champ on his way to the end zone.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)