Log In

Reset Password

Hawks Feast On Turnovers For Thanksgiving Eve Victory



Text Size

Update: NHS is the Class L No. 2 seed and will host No. 7 Shelton Tuesday, November 29 at 6:30 pm.

MONROE — The turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes were still a night’s rest away, so Newtown High School’s football team feasted on turnovers. The Nighthawks converted five consecutive Masuk miscues to pull away for a 46-12 road victory the night before Thanksgiving.

The Nighthawks (9-1 overall and unbeaten in conference play) clinched the South-West Conference season championship and will host a Class L quarterfinal-round state playoff game on Tuesday, November 29 at 6:30 pm (opponent to be determined). Newtown moved up to No. 2 in the state rankings and will finish among one of the top few spots pending outcomes of Turkey Day games.

Newtown gobbled a combination of six fumbles and interceptions in the second half alone to mash the Panthers and bolster its playoff positioning.

It was a close one at the half. Newtown appeared poised to pull away early when Andrew Swierbut returned the opening kickoff 33 yards to the NHS 48-yard line and, on the very next play, quarterback Dylan Magazu rushed 52 yards for a score. Just like that, it was 7-0 — only 23 seconds in.

Magazu then lined up as a wide receiver and had his first varsity touchdown reception on a 31-yard pass from alternate QB Jayden Cordova. The extra point failed but it was 13-0 with 7:11 to go in the opening quarter. That was the score heading to the second.

But just when it looked like Masuk’s hopes of victory were going to be stuffed, the Panthers clawed back into it. Quarterback Dylan Jackson hooked up with Rob Klein on a 31-yard scoring pass on the first play of the second quarter. The kick was blocked, leaving the score 13-6 Nighthawks just eight seconds into the stanza.

Jackson connected with Klein again, this time for a 69-yard pass and catch for a TD, making it 13-12 with 6:38 left before the half. The Panthers went for two points but got stopped and the score remained the same at the break.

Masuk attempted onside kicks after the two TDs but Newtown’s Brady Macey was there to corral the ball each time.

Turnovers were served in abundance in the third and fourth quarters and — like extra gravy —Newtown poured it on. Magazu recovered a fumble at the Newtown 40 yard line that led to Caleb Smith’s 16-yard touchdown scamper on third down. Swierbut’s extra point was good and NHS led 20-12.

On the next series, Swierbut intercepted a pass at Masuk’s 32, leading to Magazu’s six-yard rush into the end zone with 51 seconds to go in the third. The kick was blocked and Newtown led 26-12 going into the fourth.

Jack Chappa’s fumble recovery at the Masuk 44, less than a minute into the final quarter, set up Cordova’s 22-yard scoring strike to Mark Sokk. It was 33-12 with 8:29 left.

Swierbut’s second INT turned into a pick six when he ran the ball back 41 yards for a score, making it 39-12 with 7:30 remaining.

Brock Dukate recovered a fumble when the Masuk snap clanked off the quarterback and bounced right into his arms. That led to another Magazu touchdown, this one a 29-yard rushing play for six. The extra point finalized the scoring with 4:25 to go.

Newtown got yet another fumble recovery when Matt Lasorsa pounced on the loose pigskin at the Panther 23 with 3:36 remaining.

Newtown Coach Bobby Pattison noted that the Nighthawks had great field position throughout the night and capitalized on the short field opportunities in the second half.

“I’m happy with how the kids performed,” Pattison said.

Masuk, despite the loss, has qualified for the Class MM playoffs with a 7-3 mark.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Brady Macey (No. 4) returns the ball after recovering an onside kick in Newtown's 46-12 win at Masuk on November 23. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Dylan Magazu did a bit of everything with rushing touchdowns, a receiving TD, and a fumble recovery.
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply