Newport’s Buffaloes Go West and Trample DuBois
by Phil Myers
Newport travelled west two and a half hours to DuBois and grabbed a surprisingly easy victory by thumping the Beavers 49-14 at E.J. Mansell Stadium. Newport dominated in every facet of the game, including limiting the high-powered passing attack of DuBois to 114 yards. “Our kids came out and gave a great effort,” stated Coach Todd Rothermel, who is Newport’s all-time winningest coach. Offensively, the Buffaloes were paced by sophomore running back Ethan Rode who rambled for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Rode also caught a pass for 41 yards and had three kick returns for 62 markers.
“We just wanted to come out and have success early,” said Rothermel. And that they did as a result of winning the toss and electing to receive. The Buffaloes traversed 82 yards on eight plays, scoring on a Nikolas Grabiec to Beno Nunez sixteen-yard pass. The other sixty-six yards came on six Rode runs. Justin Barlup was good on the first of seven extra points to give the visitors a 7-0 lead 3:35 into the game.
After a fumble by DuBois was recovered by Buffalo defensive end Brady Herr at the Beaver 22, Newport upped their lead to 14-0 at the 5:45 mark when Grabiec ran five yards to pay dirt on the fourth play of the short drive. Dylan McCluskey returned the subsequent kickoff to the Buffalo 48. A couple of first downs later, Matt Miller hit McCluskey over the middle on a slant for a 26-yard scoring strike. McCluskey hit his PAT attempt to cut the Buffalo lead in half with 3:36 left in the opening quarter.
From that point until halftime Newport turned the dial to stampede mode by outgaining DuBois 188-18 and crossing the goal line twice more. Six seconds into the second quarter the Buffaloes scored on a Rode dash of twenty yards to cap a 72-yard, 6-play drive. That possession was a highlighted by a daring fake punt on a fourth and eight at their own 30. Grabiec found a wide open Rode for a 41 yard gain to the DuBois 29. Six and a half minutes later, the white clad, blue trimmed visitors increased their lead to 28-7 when Grabiec tallied his second five-yard rushing touchdown.
The Beavers’ Buddy Lines returned the second half kick to the Buffalo 45. A 27-yard pass from Miller to McCluskey sandwiched around a pair of two-yard runs put the pigskin at the Newport 14. Then Miller hit McCluskey again for a touchdown to cut the visitors’ lead to 28-14. The Beaver defense, which really appeared to be discombobulated most of the night, gave the offense the ball back by forcing Newport into a three and out. DuBois looked like it was poised to make a game of it when they proceeded to drive 43 yards to the Newport 36, but a penalty and a sack set them back 22 yards. Disaster struck two plays later when Miller connected on a ten-yard pass to Kyle Hopson who in turn fumbled. The loose ball was scooped up by Nunez who returned it to the Beaver seventeen.
Immediately the opportunistic Buffaloes took advantage when Grabiec raced 17 yards around the end for his third TD of the night to put his squad up 35-14. Those turn of events demoralized the Beavers. “The more success we had, the more confidence we gained,” related an elated Coach Rothermel.
Early in the final stanza, Derek Peachey the big 270-pound defensive lineman and co-captain of the Buffaloes, intercepted a Miller screen pass, broke a couple tackles and rumbled 25 yards into the end zone. Suddenly the Newport lead was 42-14. “Peachey is a great kid, a dominant kid,” said Rothermel. He went on to give the big lineman credit for being able to read the screen pass. Newport rounded out the scoring and caused the Mercy Rule to take affect when Rode scored from four yards out with 5:50 remaining in the game.
Notes and quotes: Newport outgained DuBois in yardage 427 to 182. “We were extremely disappointed after our loss last week, but we had a great week of prep this week. If you told me we could run the football like that, I don’t know if I would’ve believed that,” stated Rothermel. Of the Buffaloes’ 427 yards, 322 came on the ground. Besides Rode’s 195 yardage on the ground, Grabiec chipped in 78 markers. Rode went over the century mark in rushing (1,025) for the year with his performance.
Rothermel denied revenge being a major factor since DuBois ruined Newport’s undefeated season last year. “I believe losing last week was more of a factor,” he said, “we played for our league, town, and eastern Pennsylvania football tonight. We’re a AA school playing iron man football.” Newport won the turnover battle too, 4-0, with Herr recovering two fumbles. Newport doesn’t play too many games on artificial turf and according to one report that was their first win ever on that type of field.
DuBois’ Matt Miller was 9 of 20 for 114 yards, 2 TDs, and the one interception. He was sacked four times and each time it was a defensive lineman or two. DuBois is now out of the D-5,6,9 playoff picture, while Newport looks to garner the top seed in D-3. Next week Newport, who is now 8-1 on the year, hosts Halifax. DuBois, who dropped to 3-6, welcomes in Hollidaysburg for their finale.
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