Hawk Gridders Blank Rebels In Opener

Published: September 10, 2018 at 10:07 am


Luke Melillo runs with the ball during Newtown's season-opening win over New Fairfield. —Bee Photo, Hutchison

Dan Mason ran for a pair of scores against the Rebels. —Bee Photo, Hutchison

Tucker Garrity (No. 17) makes a move as Dan Mason (No. 7) joins the play. —Bee Photo, Hutchison

This article has been updated to include statistics and comments from Coach Bobby Pattison

Backed by a strong defensive effort, Newtown High School’s football team shut out visiting New Fairfield 35-0 in the season opener, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on September 7.

The Nighthawks led 14-0 at halftime and never looked back.

Quarterback Luke Melillo connected with Riley Ward for a six-yard pass and catch scoring play on fourth down and five, opening the scoring with 5:31 left in the opening quarter. The opening stanza ended with Newtown driving.

On the first play of the second quarter, with the Nighthawks facing third down and eight to go, Melillo hit Ward on a misdirection screen play for a 17-yard touchdown just ten seconds into the period.

Neither team mustered any more first-half offense to speak of. Newtown’s James Knox, assisted by Jared Dunn, sacked New Fairfield quarterback Will Enright for a whopping 17-yard loss and Zach Loomis also had a QB sack late in the opening half.

In the second half, Dan Mason rushed for a pair of short-yardage scores, and Matt Dubois added one-yard rushing score.

Melillo completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 184 yards, and Jack Street connected on his two pass attempts for 26 yards. Mason rushed 17 times for 125 yards. Ward hauled in six catches for 67 yards, and Shea Talbot caught two passes for 92.

"I was happy to get out of week one healthy and with a win. The defense played better than the offense. We need to do a better job moving the chains consistently. Our first two drives were touchdowns, but our next few were three and outs with bad field position. Luke Melillo played well in his first varsity start at quarterback. He did not get sacked," Newtown Coach Bobby Pattison said.

"I was pleased with the defensive effort on Friday. The defense really stepped up creating chaos and turnovers. We sacked their QB six times, and had one forced fumble, and two interceptions. They did a nice job for us," Pattison added.

Most of the defensive standouts were returning varsity starters, but Pattison noted that James Knox and Zach Loomis both stepped up at defensive end, pressuring the QB all game; each had two sacks. Michael Haddick recorded a sack, and Jared Dunn and Nick Sabillon combined on QB takedown in the backfield. Joe Pagett and Griffin Cross had the interceptions. Dunn forced a fumble and Pagett recovered.

Dunn compiled seven solo tackles and assisted on another, Knox had six tackles, Easton Ricks, Dubois, and Loomis each had five.

The Nighthawks will host Cheshire, which lost to Southern Connecticut Conference rival Shelton 17-10, on Friday, September 14. Kickoff is at 7 pm.

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
25% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (2 votes)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
25% (1 vote)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 4