More Nighthawk Dominance In Conference: Newtown Tackles Bulldogs In 42-0 Blowout
The article has been updated with two name errors — Riley Ward and Pat Boyle — corrected.
During the first half of the season, the Newtown High School football team and its opponents, by engaging highly-competitive battles, again showed why the decision to increase the number of crossover games to schedules was a good one.
On November 8, Senior Night, Newtown brought even more validity to the reason for more out-of-conference games as the Nighthawks poured it on early, scoring all six of its touchdowns in the first half before coasting to a 42-0 triumph over Bunnell of Stratford, at Blue & Gold Stadium.
The Nighthawks, coming off a 38-0 victory over Stratford the week before, improved to 8-0 — including shutouts against each of the four South-West Conference teams they have faced — with just two games remaining. Road tilts with Joel Barlow of Redding and Masuk of Monroe await. Then it is back to nonconference games when they matter most — in the postseason.
Shortly after Riley Ward’s long opening kick return set the Nighthawks up with good field position, on Bunnell’s defensive half of the field, Ward ran the ball into the end zone from eight yards out to begin the scoring just 2:07 into the game.
Evan Prestera recovered the ball on the ensuing kickoff, an onside boot from Jared Dunn, giving the Nighthawks possession near midfield.
A fourth down reception to move the chains by Jack Mulligan set up Luke Hannan’s six-yard rushing TD. Newtown had a 14-0 lead 4:33 into the game and before the Bulldogs had their first possession.
Talk about grabbing momentum.
Bunnell, on its first series, was stopped on fourth and two. A third and long reception by Jack Zingaro helped set up Connor Breslin’s one-yard score.
The quartet of James Knox, Jacob Riley, Zach Loomis, and Dunn blasted through the line for a quarterback sack leading to a punt near the end of the first period which ended with Newtown comfortably ahead, 21-0.
The Bulldogs recovered a fumble late in the opening quarter and, after Dunn’s quarterback sack led to a punt, the visitors caused another turnover with an interception early in the second quarter.
After that, it was a continuation of what transpired in the first stanza with Newtown’s offense keeping Bunnell’s offense off the field, and the Nighthawk defense pitching shutout ball.
Will Swierbut picked off a pass to get the pigskin back in Newtown’s hands, again with tremendous field position as he intercepted the ball at the Hawk 11 yard line and raced 63 yards to the Bulldog 26. Breslin’s 13-yard TD scamper pushed the lead to 28-0.
The special teams got in on the display of defensive prowess. Dunn kicked off, sprinted down the field, and made the tackle on Bunnell’s return man, pinning the Bulldogs back at their 15. Two plays later, Pat Boyle came up with a fumble recovery, giving NHS the ball at the Bunnell 40.
A Zingaro catch and shifty run went for a 30-yard gain to set up first and goal to go at the ten. Two plays later, Breslin took advantage of strong blocking which opened a big hole up the middle. He went in untouched for a ten-yard score midway through the second quarter.
After another defensive stand, an 18-yard quarterback keeper by Jack Street set up first and goal at the five. On third and goal, Street rushed five yards through the middle for another Newtown TD.
Eric Gray had a long punt return and was tackled about ten yards shy of the end zone on the final play of the first half.
Devin O’Connell was accurate on each of his point after attempts like usual. And, as always, it was both Street and Brandon Lombardo working the pocket. The QB platoon continues to lead Newtown to high scoring efforts. The Nighthawks have registered 34 or more points in six games.
Newtown is at Barlow on Friday, November 15; kickoff is at 7 pm. The Masuk game is set for Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27, starting at 6 pm.