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Nighthawk 79er Gold Team battles in New York: The Newtown Nighthawks Gold Team tested its mettle against seven football teams Sunday, in a football scrimmage Jamboree at Mahopac High School. The Gold Team is one of two Newtown teams (Blue and Gold) with players ages 7-9. Several teams were in action at the same time on four fields. The Nighthawks Gold Team, coached by Jack Shpunt and Adam Carly, played set offensive and defensive series against some talented teams from Connecticut and New York, including Somers, Hudson Valley, Norwalk, Yorktown, Southern Dutchess, and Mahopac. The Gold Team looked sharp on offense, scoring several touchdowns while fine-tuning formations for the upcoming campaign. On defense, the Nighthawks showed good lateral speed to the ball and delivered some impressive hits. The players featured strong speed and heart against some opponents who had clear size advantages. The Nighthawk Gold Team kicks off the 2010 season at Ansonia on Saturday, September 4, at 2 pm.

Grade 4

Nighthawks 40, Rams 0: The Nighthawks won the coin toss and never looked back in their season opener at Carmel. After scoring on the first play from scrimmage, a beautiful pass from quarterback Luke Melillo to running back Griffin Cross, the offense looked raring to go. Following a successful onside kick recovered by defensive back Tucker Garrity, RB Matthew Dubois scored another 6 with a great run to the left. Cross’ run right for the extra point was the final score of the first half  (19-0). Cross and RB Reid Harrison had one score each in the third quarter, with extra points coming from Dubois and fullback Daniel Mason. RB Luke Barrett scored a TD and added the extra point in the 4th quarter. While the offense looked red-hot, the Nighthawks tenacious defense proved unbreakable, giving up less than 40 yards. Notable plays included right guard John Albanese’s forced fumble and linebacker Gren Paynter’s strip and scamper. linebacker Robbie Morrill, defensive end Kyle Cascone, nose tackle Ryan Tani, and DBs Vincent Genovese and Nikolas Accousti had inspired efforts which led the Nighthawk D to a shutout. The Nighthawks play Bridgeport next week.

Grade 5

Nighthawks 12, Aspetuck 6: The Nighthawk defense set the tone early, ending Aspetuck’s first two drives by stopping fourth and short attempts. The Nighthawk offense rewarded the defense’s hard work on their second drive. Ryan Cost converted a third and long with a great run on a quarterback sneak. On the next play, Cost completed a 45-yard pass to Nick Weiland for a touchdown to open the scoring. In the second quarter, the defense came up big again when Simon Preston recovered an Aspetuck fumble. The offense looked to capitalize on this when Ryan Cost completed a 45 yard pass to Josh Dunn. Offensive lineman Alex Street made a big block on the play, allowing Cost the extra seconds needed to find Dunn. The drive ended in Aspetuck Red Zone without a score. The Nighthawk defense ended the half by forcing another Aspetuck fumble. Early in the third quarter, Ryan Williams celebrated his birthday with a big tackle. After an Aspetuck touchdown, Mark Hall made a big stop on the extra point attempt to keep the score tied at 6. In the fourth quarter, the Nighthawk offense was forced to punt, but a coffin corner kick by CJ Shambelan pinned Aspetuck in the shadow of its own end zone.  The Newtown defense came up big again, holding Aspetuck to a three and out. Pressure on the punter forced a short kick, setting up Newtown’s offense inside the Aspetuck 20. On fourth and long, Ryan Cost completed a pass to Kyle Roach, who fought hard for the final few yards to move the chains and set up first and goal at the two yard line. Fullback Michael Garner punched it in to give Newtown the lead 12 to 6. Tyler Rising made tackles in the Aspetuck backfield helping to set up a 4th and long. The game ended on an incomplete Aspetuck pass. 

Grade 6

Nighthawks 14, Mahopac Indians 0: Newtown earned a preseason victory over the Mahopac Indians. In the first quarter, a 40-yard punt by Nevin Zink put the Indians deep into their own territory. Tackles by Steven Moccio, Ollie Wood, Ben Mason, and Nevin Zink, shut down the Indians offense. Despite a successful 20-yard pass by Patrick Conte to Moccio and another pass by Conte to Mitchell Savoca, who evaded several Indians to run for a first down, the Nighthawks remained scoreless in the first quarter. Conte hit pay dirt in the second quarter with a touchdown pass to Gavin Stubbs. Zink kicked the field goal for two extra points, bringing the score to 8-0. The Nighthawks defense, led by Mason, Zink, and Matthew Bucci, held the Indians in the second half. Zink’s fourth-quarter touchdown run brought the final score to 14-0.

Nighthawks 20, North Haven Indians 6: The Nighthawks kept the momentum going in the season opener. Mitchell Savoca returned an interception for a score for a pick six in the first quarter. Tackles by Joe Accousti, Alex Morganti, Adam Bell, and Edward Lovely kept the Indians from scoring until the end of the second quarter. In the second half, Nevin Zink had a 60-yard touchdown run. Key tackles by Anthony Adamcheck, Peter DeBona, Jack Wellman, and Noah LaFerriere forced the Indians to turn the ball over on downs. Ben Mason ran through the hole and broke multiple tackles for a 30-yard touchdown, and Nevin Zink kicked for a two-point conversion.

Grade 7

Newtown 41, Southern Dutchess 8: The Hawks set team records for points, yards gained, and sacks. Seven different Newtown runners amassed 371 yards from scrimmage  in scoring six rushing touchdowns. The passing game added 13 more yards. Jared Pearson gained 211 yards on six carries and scored on runs of 39, 70, and 72 yards. Chris Blanco rushed for 81 yards, including a 70-yard TD scamper. Steven Faxlanger had a 38-yard burst and a 5-yard TD run. Ethan Carpenter closed out the scoring with an 8-yard QB sweep. He then added an extra point on a roll out pass to a diving Devin Luzietti. Michael Doyle, Shawn McCarthy, and James Accousti also added rushing yardage. Sam Duffy, Matt Carino, and Doyle recorded pass receptions. Ryan Shaw  was successful on two extra point kicks. Large holes were opened up by the offensive line all day, led by Brandon Hensel, Nick Rohrbacher, Carlo Fenaroli, and Gordon Walsh. On the defensive side of the ball, Newtown yielded only 66 yards on 48 plays. The team bottled up the run all day with several tackles behind the line of scrimmage. They were just as tough against the pass, as they registered a stunning 12 sacks. The following players recorded sacks: Justin Apply, Blanco, Charlie Fletcher, Bryan Kiley, Matt Maturo, Pearson, Shaw, Declan Sullivan, Andrew Svanda, and Mark Urso. Carino added an interception in the red zone to thwart a scoring opportunity. Newtown faces the defending CVL (and New England) champs Bridgeport this Sunday at noon at Taylor field.

Grade 8

Nighthawks 29, Mahopac Indians 0: The Nighthawks gained over 250 yards total offense, with 220 coming on the ground behind their big linemen who opened up holes all day in this preseason game. Julian Dunn scored three times and Colton Smith had the first score of the day. The defense was just as dominating by holding the Indians to one first down which came late in the fourth quarter. The defense was led by DE Griffin Davis and his two sacks while Nick Lotrecchiano manned the corner spot and had six solo tackles. Rat Rubino and Tim Krapf shut down the middle at the LB positions.

Nighthawks 38, Shelton 14: Newtown gained more than 230 yards on the ground. Julian Dunn had three touchdowns and Nick Lotrecchiano scored a TD on a reverse in which he dodged left and right for 32 yards. Colton Smith led all carriers with 90 yards on nine carries. Rat Rubino added the last TD, carrying two defenders from five yards out to put the exclamation point on the victory. The offensive line of Kevin Conte, Markus Elken, Griffin Davis, Jake Lambert, Eric Cascone, Tim Krapf, and Connor Roche created holes throughout the day and made it possible for the Hawks to dominate possession. The passing game didn’t open up until the 2nd half with Will Dalton, Lotrecchiano, Troy Frangione and Tim Krapf each with a reception for a total of 74 yards through the air. On defense, Tim Krapf had two sacks, Smith added seven tackles, and Rubino and Lotrecchiano contributed four each. The hit of the day was by cornerback Jaret DeVellis, who played his cover 2 defense perfectly by separating the ball from the RB right before half. Davis and Elken both shut down the edge from their DE positions. The Nighthawks take their 2010 record of 1-0 (39-0 since this team has been together going back to fourth Grade) to Wolfe Park in Monroe against the 1-0 Monroe Lions this coming Sunday.

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