Big Win! Nighthawk Gridders Defeat Prep Jesuits 21-14
Newtown High School’s football team defeated host Fairfield Prep in a tough nonconference battle on September 20, building a two-touchdown lead in the second quarter and holding off the Jesuits for a 21-14 win.
Miles Ricks scored on a one-yard touchdown run to break a scoreless deadlock 8:04 before the half. Quarterback Jack Street connected with Riley Ward for a 33-yard touchdown strike with 3:53 remaining in the second quarter.
Prep capitalized on a penalty-assisted drive to answer just 53 seconds later when quarterback and Newtown resident J.P. Iaropoli completed a touchdown pass to Timothy Pearson. It was 14-7 Nighthawks at the half.
In the third quarter, Ricks had back-to-back 20-yard runs and, later on that drive, picked up a crucial first down on fourth and one yard to go at the Jesuit 31, gaining two yards. Ricks then turned the left corner and fended off several would-be tacklers, bouncing off a series of hard hits to fight his way into the end zone from 25 yards out. It was 21-7 Nighthawks with 3:28 to go in the third.
With Robert Long taking over quarterbacking duties in the second half, the Jesuits again sliced the deficit in half when Long danced into the paint from 14 yards out on the last play of the third quarter. Long completed a pass to Iaropoli, who played as a receiver in the third and fourth quarters, during that scoring drive.
Penalties, many of which the Nighthawks and their fans disputed, piled up on the visitors. Twice in the fourth quarter, the Nighthawks had the ball inside Prep’s red zone and threatened to score on Street to C.J. Cuomo and Tucker Garrity completions, only to have flags fly and the offense backed up.
Newtown overcame the calls and its defense held off the Jesuits as Ben Pinto and Jared Dunn each had a quarterback sack late in regulation.
The Nighthawks used platoon at quarterback with Brandon Lombardo alternating with Street in the pocket for the second week to begin the season.
NHS defeated New Milford 42-0 in week one and improved to 2-0 and the Jesuits dropped to 1-1.