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Newport Dominates Brossart, 55-0

After a game like this, it would be easy to understand if a team had a letdown the following week.
 
In football, often times it is the rule rather than the exception. But the Newport Wildcats may be an exception.
 
“We preach perfection on every play,” Coach Matthew Schmitz said. “The last weekend against Pendleton County, we were up big and they were looking at me crazy because I was still getting at them but they know it’s about a process and every rep is a chance to get better. Going against another team, you get to see things that are always coachable.”
 
After holding Brossart to a three-and-out on their first drive, Newport didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard, capping a methodic 71-yard drive down the field, culminating in a short touchdown run by Wildcats’ bruising senior running back Dominick Joseph. 
 
But there was more. A lot more.
 
After a foiled Mustangs’ trick play because of a fumble by junior running back Frank Cetrulo, Newport standout senior Brian Burton returned the Mustangs’ punt 90 yards, cutting across the field for the score. The Wildcats jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
 
Burton has “learned to get better as a practice player,” Schmitz said, which has contributed to his success when the games count.
 
”This year, he’s taken on that leadership role Monday through Thursday and he’s exploding on Friday’s,” he added.
 
Brossart ran the ensuing kickoff to the 40-yard line, but a fumble recovered by Newport would turn into another score for the visitors. On the next play, senior quarterback Paul Price hit Burton once again for 25 yards and his receiver broke several tackles on his way to the end zone for the second time on the evening.
 
The following quarter began with the Mustangs’ failure to capitalize on an opportunity. After a Newport false start penalty and re-kick, Cetrulo muffed the Wildcats’ punt for the second time and Newport recovered deep in Brossart territory at their 17.
 
Their drive began with an unsportsmanlike penalty on junior back Tyree Bolden as he was dragged down in the backfield and spiked the ball in frustration. Despite Bolden’s penalty, he was bailed out on the next play by Price. Rolling to his right, Price hit Burton in-stride across the middle on a 30-yard scoring play, putting the Wildcats up 28-0.
 
The Mustangs’ defense held Newport on the ensuing possession but dug themselves’ yet an even deeper hole when they began their offensive drive. Beginning inside their own territory at the 13-yard line, a false start penalty pushed the ball back to the eight. On second down, senior quarterback Garrett Ahlbrand’s pass landed in the hands of Burton – a cornerback on defense – who found his way into the end zone, giving his team a 35-0 lead. After forcing another Mustang three-and-out, Newport thought it had another score with a 60-yard punt return by junior Ryan Ochoa, only it was negated by a holding penalty. 
 
“Our offense got sloppy in the second quarter. We start off on fire, then we kind of hit a lull,” Schmitz said. “Really, this whole season, the second quarter hasn’t been good for us,” he continued. 
 
But despite the Wildcats’ struggles in the second quarter, its offense kept humming after halftime.
 
Only 16 seconds into the third quarter, Newport played add on with an 85-yard kickoff return by Bolden, making the score 42-0. After another Brossart punt, Joseph ran 40 yards around the right side for another Wildcats’ touchdown and ending the night for many Newport starters.
 
The next series, Newport turned the Mustangs’ punt into another big gain but a holding call brought it back. Then, second string senior back David Lynam took the handoff 85 yards down the left sideline, making the score 55-0.
 
The final quarter brought the best Brossart drive of the night, but they were still unable to find the end zone. Ahlbrand’s 20-yard pass down the middle to senior tight end Jarred Martin got the Mustangs into Newport territory. Ahlbrand faked a second down pitch to the right, rolled to his left and scampered 35 yards down to the Newport 10-yard line, where he was corralled out-of-bounds by a host of defenders. 
 
Only the play didn’t stand. Near the line-of-scrimmage, a flag lay on the Eagle Stadium turf, bringing Brossart back, thus ending their momentum. A few additional Mustang plays went for naught as they turned the ball over on downs to the Wildcats for the final time.
 
Beginning on their 45, Newport drove down the field seemingly headed for another score, but was slowed by the Mustangs’ defense, then by the clock as time ran out.
 
Story & photo by Jason Finnell, RCN contributor
 
Other NKY Football scores courtesy of NKYSports

Simon Kenton 45, Campbell Co. 14

Lloyd 50, Holy Cross 20

Cooper 24, Conner 21

Ryle 48, Boone Co. 13

Bellevue 32, Holmes 22

Highlands 46, Harrison Co. 13

Walton-Verona 55, Owen Co. 22

Dixie Heights 43, Tates Creek 6

Fayeteville (OH) 32, Dayton 12