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Holy Cross Takes Care of Newport, 48-6

Holy Cross has evened its record at 4-4 after blowing out Newport, 48-6, on the road on Thursday night. 

The four wins for the Indians is twice as many as they have earned in the previous two seasons combined.

The arrangement for the game was an odd one. It was senior night for Holy Cross even though the game was played in Newport. Because the Indians share a field with Holmes, they are at times forced to find alternative accommodations throughout the season and such was the case for the Week 9 game.

The change in venue did not slow down the Holy Cross attack, though, as the Wildcats were able to put up very little fight and even fewer points.

It’s been a rough year for Newport, but the program faced tremendous adversity this offseason. Not only did the team lose a number of key players to graduation from a year ago, the remaining players also had to adjust to a new coach only weeks before the season began.

The game on Thursday showed a team that may be climbing out of a rebuilding phase in Holy Cross against a team that seems to be in the early stages of a similar process themselves in Newport. It was the Indians that jumped out to an early lead when quarterback Hamilton Scott hit Damien Serrano on a slant pattern in the middle of the field for an easy 28-yard touchdown. It was the beginning of a lead that the Indians would build upon.

On the ensuing possession, Newport shot themselves in the foot when a pitch play on the option was dropped, resulting in a major loss of yards, and putting the Wildcats within their own five-yard line. On the next Newport possession, quarterback Tyler Porter was sacked on third-and-13. On the next one, Porter couldn’t handle a bad snap and was taken down for a loss again on third down. The Wildcats had all kinds of problems on shotgun snaps and handoff exchanges in the game. It was just that kind of night for head coach Tim Viox’s team.

The real kicker, though, was when Porter had a run of 17, and then another for 49 yards that put the ball all the way down to the one-yard line, but then on three plays, the Wildcats couldn’t score and even fumbled on the last one. It was easily their best chance to score in the first half, but they came up empty. The sequence ended the first half with Holy Cross up 27-0.

There were times when the Newport defense showed toughness and determination, forcing a handful of fourth-down stops in the first half, but with Scott running the read-option play well and finding his wide outs for explosive plays when he had to, the Holy Cross offense was too much to handle. Not only did Scott play with confidence, but running backs Xavier Abernathy and Derrick Barnes are big, physical runners that become more difficult to tackle as the game wears on. Together, the pair combined for 162 yards and three touchdowns and with the help from Scott, Holy Cross moved the ball consistently to eventually go up 48-0.

Newport scored last when Porter hit Nate Lloyd for a 10-yard touchdown strike to get the Wildcats on the board in the end.

The win for Holy Cross is their first district win and are now 1-1 in Class 2A District 6. The Indians take on Lloyd (5-2) on the road, while Newport (1-7) takes on crosstown rival Newport Central Catholic next week.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor